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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2010 Bancroft Prize and finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography: The definitive biography of a heroic chronicler of America's Depression and one of the 20th century's greatest photographers.

We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos - the Migrant Mother holding her child, the shoeless children of the Dust Bowl - but now renowned American historian Linda Gordon brings them to three-dimensional life in this groundbreaking exploration of Lange's transformation into a documentarist. Using Lange's life to anchor a moving social history of 20th-century America, Gordon masterfully re-creates bohemian San Francisco, the Depression, and the Japanese-American internment camps. Gordon has written a sparkling, fast-moving story that testifies to her status as one of the most gifted historians of our time.

©2009 Linda Gordon (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Very interesting but narration was unusual

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, as I am a photographer and have admired Lange's work without knowing anything about her. The story introduced quite a bit of conjecture and assumption along the way, but in general the story seemed well researched. There were obviously more gaps in documentation than is common when putting together a book like this. Things that seemed obvious conjecture were well considered and generally had the ring of truth that keeps them from being speed bumps.

I wish I had read this book rather then listened to it. The narrator mispronounced quite a few words along the way, enough to be jarring each time. And they weren't just uncommon place names like San Joaquin (as San JoeWokin) but numerous common words.

I always assumed they would edit while recording to fix gaffes like these when producing audio books.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • George
  • SPRING, TX, United States
  • 10-13-15

Many Books in One

Any additional comments?

This is a very long and detailed book that is more about the world during Dorthea Lange's time than it is about Lange. With this said, it is eye opening, and provides some incredible insight into American History. I felt as though I received three books for the price of one. I am grateful to the writer for all the research as well as the narrator for the reading. Books of this magnitude, are not easy to read. Yes, there are mistakes in the narration, but this was not easy ground to cover. To sum everything up, if you like to hear the untold story of America's history during the depression as told through a photographer's life don't hesitate read this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • P.
  • 11-04-14

Narrator is pathetic

What disappointed you about Dorothea Lange?

The narrator's voice and reading (mispronunciations, nasal, whiny) quality made this grating to hear.

What did you like best about this story?

i couldn't listen to it. I am a great fan of Lange, but this is a disservice.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kathleen Gati?

Rosenblatt or someone who can read orally.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Have no idea

Any additional comments?

Im returning this. Too painful to listen to and I'll have to buy it in hardback.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Story of a legendary photographer told well

Complete, well-balanced biography with rich historical context. Highly recommend for photographers and history buffs!
Narrator did a good job; a couple of English mispronounciations noticed, but non-English words spoken very well.

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  • Story

Amateurish reader

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters, it's nonfiction.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator is semi illiterate, that's the only way I can describe her. She basically can't pronounce most of the "hard" words in the text. At first I started counting how many words she mispronounced, then it just got to be so ridiculous it was almost laughable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's non fiction

Any additional comments?

The book itself isn't bad, but the author admits that there isn't as much documentation of Lange's life as one would like, so there is a lot of historical background that is not specific to Lange's life.

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  • Pete Lachaise
  • 07-13-13

How the American Depression affected Photography.

Would you try another book written by Linda Gordon or narrated by Kathleen Gati?

Thats what the title should be as its as much about the country's struggle through the depression and the war as it is a biography about Dorothea Lange. It is a bit repetitive and at times its a struggle to read but it does cover the person and the times well. It has a lot of detail about Dorotea Lange I never knew and not being American, this gave me a good insight into the Depression and their war effort.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • B.
  • 07-14-17

Excellent biography, terrible narration

Five stars for Linda Gordon's writing and the rich historical setting she provides, always going into valuable depth about the background, causes, economic factors, prejudices, and prevailing movements that influenced Dorothea Lange's life. Kathleen Gati's narration, however, is atrocious. She repeatedly commits two of the gravest sins of audiobook narration. First, she routinely butchers pronunciations--far more than I could keep track of but many cringe-worthily bad (James Aggy, not AY-gee, Modest-OH, not MOH-desto) and some simply jaw-droppingly bad (at least once "photography" comes out "photoGRAPH-ee"). Second, it quickly becomes obvious that her first reading of the text is the one that got recorded, because many times her intonation drops, as if she thought the end of a line of text was also the end of a sentence--only to sudden pick up again as she discovers there's more left on the following line. Don't let the sample fool you--much audible suffering will be involved to get through this book. Overall, is it worth the effort? Yes, very much so: but it's a real shame what one reader did to muck up a fine book.