Fields of Vision

Following the publication of the first six titles in the Fields of Vision series, volumes 7–9 present images by Carl Mydans, Gordon Parks and Arthur Rothstein, from the Library of Congress’ renowned collection of Farm Security Administration (FSA) and Office of War Information (OWI) photographs. Transporting the viewer to the America of the 1930s and 1940s, the images offer a glimpse of a new narrative style that was later to blossom on the pages of Look and Life magazines.

Carl Mydans (1907–2004) joined the FSA as a photographer in 1935, documenting rural and urban poverty in the South and in New England. In 1936 Mydans left the FSA to work at Life magazine, where he stayed until it closed in the early 1970s.

Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was the youngest of 15 children from a poor tenant-farming family in Kansas. Inspired by the work of FSA photographers he saw in a magazine, he bought a camera and was noticed by Roy Stryker who headed the FSA photography division. Parks became the first African American staff photographer at Life magazine, and later a respected writer and film director.

Arthur Rothstein (1915–1985) studied with Roy Stryker at Columbia University. During his five years as an FSA photographer, Rothstein produced a gripping visual record of the country’s poor. After World War II he joined Look magazine, serving as director of photography until the magazine closed in 1971.

The three new books follow the same format as the first in the series: W. Ralph Eubanks, Director, Publishing Office, Library of Congress, has written the Preface and each book has an introduction by a leading guest writer.  Each book has 55 plates which provide a unique view of American life during the Great Depression and World War II. Amy Pastan is the overall editor of the series.

The Authors:
Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming and New Mexico. Her published works include Post Cards, Accordion Crimes, The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain, and Bird Cloud.
George Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq, Interesting Times, and the award –winning play Betrayed.
Charles Johnson, a MacArthur Fellow, is an award-winning novelist, essayist, critic, cartoonist, and professor emeritus at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Available at your local bookstore or through your online bookseller. It is sold via,, etc.