Two Reissued Photography Books Reconsidered

How two photography books, just reissued, shifted America's image of itself

Robert Frank / Steidl Publishers

Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey, Robert Frank

Though they may not always like to admit it, Americans have known for centuries that sometimes the best way to get a good picture of the U.S. is to see it through foreign eyes. Alexis de Tocqueville did a dead-on reading of the place. So did Charles Dickens. And Borat. Though he's neither French, British nor particularly funny, Robert Frank fits into that illustrious company. He was just 23 when he emigrated to the U.S. from Switzerland in 1947. After spending a couple of years as a fashion photographer in New York City, he returned to Europe to roam around making...

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