A Life Beyond LimitsBook - 2009
Dorothea Lange's photographs define how we remember theDepression generation; now an evocative biography defines hercreative struggles and enduring legacy.
We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos -- the "MigrantMother" holding her child, the gaunt men forlornly waiting inbreadlines -- but few know the arc of her extraordinary life. Inthis sweeping account, renowned historian Linda Gordon chartsLange's journey from polio-ridden child to wife and mother, to SanFrancisco portrait photographer, to chronicler of the GreatDepression and World War II. Gordon uses Lange's life to anchor amoving social history of twentieth-century America, re-creating thebohemian world of San Francisco, the Dust Bowl, and the JapaneseAmerican internment camps. She explores Lange's growingradicalization as she embraced the democratic power of the camera,and she examines Lange's entire body of work, reproducing more thanone hundred images, many of them previously unseen and some of themformerly suppressed. Lange reminds us that beauty can be found inunlikely places, and that to respond to injustice, we must firstsimply learn how to see it.