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The Famous Nameless Farmers

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by AmarLeave a Comment

Agee’s main purpose in writing Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and the other volumes in his series (Three Tenant Families) was to create a comprehensive and immersive narrative of the human existence experienced by white cotton farmers in Alabama. This was incredibly marketable, it was previously unimaginable to most readers of the New York magazine from which he had …

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Agee’s Poetic Social Documentary

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by EsabelleYC1 Comment

Coupled with American photographer Walker Evans, James Agee traveled the Alabama clay highways. In “Let us now praise famous men,” they illustrate the life of the Southern tenant sharecroppers during the Great Depression. The book was initially planned as an article for the Fortune magazine about poor white cotton farmers in the American South. But after months in the South, …

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Self-Conscious Writing

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Lu Maw1 Comment

I think Agee’s obsession with truthful representation and including his perspectives and feelings exemplifies his self-conscious writing style. The description of Agee by Walker is worth noting. Walker comments on his “diffidence” winning people over, his “deliberately cheap” clothes, and his passionate work ethic. Such credentials only back up his honesty, and I think speaks a lot about the importance of …

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Famous Men

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by MichaelLeave a Comment

James Agee and Walker Evan’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men gave a unique insight into the life and social structure of the American South. The authors share their stories through a second-person narrative, which often creates a somewhat accusatory tone. In the introductions section, when he is speaking to Fred Ricketts, he asserts, “It was easy enough to [talk …

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Journalism Anew

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Dennis1 Comment

James Agee and Walker Evans were able to create a certain art form that was unique to its time. Evan’s idea set up a “historical model to see the present as though it were already the past (The Hungry Eye: Walker Evans, Films Media Group).” This technique he used made it so that his works would be something that could viewed …

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Let Us Now Praise the Multiple Realities of the Poor

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by WaxS1 Comment

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941) takes a markedly different position from the other photo-text books of the period in that the author of its texts, James Agee, dismisses the possibility that anything written can be regarded as the whole truth. In other words, Agee acknowledges how anything written about the lives of these southern sharecroppers is ultimately fictional …

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Social Consciousness and Honest Journalism

In The Travel Habit, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by Madison1 Comment

With a photojournalistic text like that of James Agee and Walker Evans, there is a certain precedent set for the reader. It blends art and reality, facts and seemingly fictional accounts, asking the reader to interpret the images of real people and analyze the perhaps biased tales of three Alabama tenant families. What began as an assignment from Fortune Magazine …