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Second ReadWriters Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage$
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The Staff of the Columbia Journalism Review and James Marcus

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159319

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159319.001.0001

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James Agee’s

James Agee’s

Let us Now Praise Famous Men

Chapter:
(p.16) James Agee’s
Source:
Second Read
Author(s):

Dale Maharidge

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231159319.003.0003

This essay reviews the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), by James Agee and Walker Evans. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men explores the daily lives of Alabama sharecroppers during the Great Depression. Agee affects those who read him. For Jimmy Carter, the impact of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men seemed to be moral and religious. For Tad Mosel, Agee's presence was supernatural. Mosel's 1961 Pulitzer-winning play, All the Way Home, was adapted from Agee's posthumously published novel, A Death in the Family. Agee literally informs And Their Children After Them (1989), the book in which Dale Maharidge and the photographer Michael Williamson documented the lives of the survivors and descendants of the three families with whom Agee lived in Alabama. Agee was also a strong influence on the New Journalism of the 1960s.

Keywords:   sharecroppers, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee, Walker Evans, Alabama, Great Depression, Tad Mosel, All the Way Home, And Their Children After Them, New Journalism

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