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Vanishing America: The End of Main Street…
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Vanishing America: The End of Main Street Diners, Drive-Ins, Donut Shops,…

by Michael Eastman

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Vanishing America is a beautifully illustrated book depicting photographs by Michael Eastman of a diminishing America. Eastman traveled the country capturing the architecture and design of small-town America as it surrenders to suburban growth and outlet malls. This look back in time documents the way of life once lived and the sign of times ahead.

Among the photographs are diners, drive-in theaters, movie houses, mom and pop general stores, roadside diners, barbershops, bowling alleys, bars, recording studios, churches, schools, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, vintage signs and advertisement statuettes, some forlorn and deserted but still operating; most abandoned and left to crumble with passage of time or the work of a wrecking ball.

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  admccrae | Apr 3, 2013 |
Michael Eastman is a beautiful photographer. He's a neighbor of William Gass, in St. Louis, and the two of them have certain qualities in common: technical virtuosity, stunning intelligence, and a gift for synthesizing facts and ideas. I published many of Eastman's photos in The Georgia Review when I edited that journal (including the cover photo of this book) and fell in love with Eastman's work during that process. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially for fans of rich photography, and aficionados of what Greil Marcus calls "the weird old America." ( )
  TRHummer | Jul 28, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0847830403, Hardcover)

Think of the quirky buildings you pass every day but whose quiet beauty you take for granted—the moviehouses, juke joints, soda fountains, barbershops, roadside diners, and storefront churches. You don’t miss them until they’re gone. As suburban sprawl and strip malls conquer the country, these vestiges of a lost way of life are falling under the wrecking ball. Here the photographer Michael Eastman has made the ultimate road trip, crisscrossing the nation dozens of times, to capture these buildings on film before they vanish. These dreamy images call us to question what we choose to let go in the wake of contemporary life, with a cool melancholy that evokes the work of Edward Hopper, Jack Kerouac, and William Eggleston. There is a wry sense of humor here as well. The book delights in the idiosyncracies of America’s vernacular styles, ranging from Depression Deco to New England clapboard in random juxtapositions that accrue over time in a town’s landscape. Countless visual puns arise among the book’s many detailed images of signs and statuettes. Vanishing America catalogues great everyday American architecture and design. But it also offers a provocative portrait of the silent emptiness that has descended upon vanishing small communities everywhere.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:27 -0400)

"Think of the quirky buildings you pass all the time but whose quiet beauty you take for granted - the moviehouses, juke joints, soda fountains, barbershops, storefront churches. You don't miss them until they're gone. As suburban sprawl and strip malls conquer the country, these vestiges of a lost way of life are increasingly falling under the wrecking ball. Here the photographer Michael Eastman has made the ultimate roadtrip, crisscrossing the nation dozens of times, to capture these buildings before they disappear. A catalogue of great everyday American architecture and design, Vanishing America also offers a provocative portrait of the silent emptiness that has descended upon struggling small communities everywhere."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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