LES AMÉRICAINS by Robert Frank (True First Edition)
Delpire, Paris, 1958. First edition of the photographer's masterpiece with 83 black-and-white full-page photogravures. Oblong quarto, original boards illustrated by Saul Steinberg. In very near fine condition (light toning to spine, but with none of the fading or wear endemic to this book's First edition). The true first edition of this work, heralded as the most influential photographic book of the second half of this century. Sold as issued without a dust jacket. The "holy grail" of mid-century photography books, in remarkable condition.
Texts in French by Simone de Beauvoir, Bernard Iddings Bell, John Brown, Erskine Caldwell, F. R. de Chateaubriand, Stephen Crane, John Dewey, John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, André Maurois, Henry Miller, Franklin-D. Roosevelt, Claude Roy, André Siegfried, John Steinbeck, Adlaï Stevenson, Alexis de Tocqueville, Harry S. Truman, George Washington, Walt Whitman, Richard Wright,the am etc.
Jack Kerouac wrote in his preface to the second edition of The Americans, "Robert Frank he sucked a sad poem out of America onto film, taking rank among the tragic poets of the world. To Robert Frank I now give this message. You got eyes." Frank’s Américains eventually achieved legendary status as "the most renowned photobook of all. It struck a chord with a whole generation of American photographers Many memorable photobooks have been derived from this mass of material. None has been more memorable, more influential, nor more fully realized than Frank’s masterpiece" (Parr & Badger I:247). "From the more than 20,000 images that resulted, Frank eventually chose 83 of them and arranged them into four chapters ‘With these photographs,’ he later wrote, ‘I have attempted to show a cross-section of the American population. My effort was to express it simply and without confusion. The view is personal’ Such a simple intention for a book that would so alter the course of modern photography"