A narrative account of the pioneering photographer's life-risking effort to document a disappearing North American Indian nation offers insight into the danger and resolve behind his venture, his elevation to an impassioned advocate and the posthumous discovery of his considerable achievements. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Big Burn. 75,000 first printing.
“A vivid exploration of one man's lifelong obsession with an idea . . . Egan’s spirited biography might just bring [Curtis] the recognition that eluded him in life.” — Washington Post Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous portrait photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. But when he was thirty-two years old, in 1900, he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared. Curtis spent the next three decades documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty North American tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him to observe their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Curtis would amass more than 40,000 photographs and 10,000 audio recordings, and he is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian. “A darn good yarn. Egan is a muscular storyteller and his book is a rollicking page-turner with a colorfully drawn hero.” — San Francisco Chronicle "A riveting biography of an American original." – Boston Globe
Recounts the pioneering photographer's life-risking effort to document the disappearing North American Indian nation, offering insight into the danger and resolve behind his venture, his elevation to an impassioned advocate, and the posthumous discovery of his achievements.
Inspired by the life of legendary photographer Edward Curtis, a series of tales about a photographer's developing relationship with the Native Americans he astonishes by showing them pictures of themselves is interspersed with parallel tales about an unsung soldier, a husband, and a father. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows. The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature. This e-book includes a sample chapter of THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN.
Edward S. Curtis: Visions of the First Americans is a tribute to the photographer, his work, but above all to the Native Americans he photographed. Chapters on many different Native American tribes make this collection unique. Edward Curtis's recognizable style, saturated with sepia, is immediately recognizable. He captures not only the striking faces of his subjects, but also a glimpse into the lifestyle of each Native American tribe he photographed. Women grind corn, and communities gather outside their traditional living areas. Atop horses, Native Americans ride on the prarie. Papooses are bundled in woven carrying packs, and men are dressed in full feathered regalia. These images paint a picture, known to us now only as a historical memory. Many tribes are featured in this volume, from the familiar Apache and Navaho to lesser-known tribes. This book will draw in readers who are interested in world cultures, along with photography buffs and historians. This hardcover volume is a wonderful addition to any library.
Sixty of Edward Curtis' photographs are included in this story of his life and the Native American cultures he studied early in the twentieth century, creating what is still the most extensive and informative collection of its kind.
National Book Award–winner Timothy Egan turns his historian's eye to the largest-ever forest fire in America and offers an epic, cautionary tale for our time. On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today. This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.
A fantastic book! Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.