“Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (text by James Agee) [photographs]” In the depths of the Great Depression of the 1930s, photojournalist Walker Evans and reporter James Agee spent many months chronicling the lives of three impoverished families in rural Alabama. The book that they published–Let Us Now Praise Famous Men–brought to widespread public notice the horrific conditions in which many Americans were then living. Evans and Agee had originally been commissioned to report on rural poverty for Fortune, an innovative business magazine well known for its patronage of top-flight reporters. When their research outgrew the magazine’s format, they published it as a book. In the years since its publication, a debate has raged about whether Evans’s haunting photographs were informative or exploitative. Go here to view photographs

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