Kate's Reviews > Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee
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Jul 25, 2010

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bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in May, 2010

I know this book is critically acclaimed. It just really didn't work that well for me. The book is about a trip James Agee (Harvard-educated journalist for Forbes at the time) and Walker Evans (photographer) take to backwoods Alabama to see what the lives of sharecroppers are like. I don't think I'm ruining anything if I tell you this-their lives are hard. Harder than most people could imagine. Agee does an amazing job at describing the families he meets with. Evans' pictures are stark but soft. What frustrates me is Agee's frequent self-serving rants about his own awkward feelings toward the sharecroppers. I found these segments pretentious. And there's just too many of them for me to say this book was great. Yes, it's an important book with some good writing. But that doesn't make me overlook Agee's frequent navel-gazing.
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