Robert Chesshyre

Snapping The Depression

Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits

By

W W Norton 536pp £25 order from our bookshop

Many nights over the past eighteen months, stark footage of the Great Depression – shabby men in soup queues, emaciated families huddled in makeshift tents, destitute panhandlers – has flashed up on the TV news. Eighty years after the Wall Street Crash, as we seek to recover from the banking crisis of 2008, the pictures retain their ability to shock and frighten. Could it happen again? Is our generally comfortable existence really that vulnerable? The power of these images is instant: they are a shorthand for the fragility of the financial arrangements on which we depend.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,