New book reveals the nation in the 21st century

Theodor Jung took this photo in 1906. It is the younger part of a family of 10 to be resettled on Ross-Hocking Land Project near Chillicothe, Ohio.

WASHINGTON — The Library of Congress, in association with the nonprofit photography group Facing Change: Documenting America (FCDA), has produced a new national portrait of America.

Published by Prestel, Facing Change: Documenting America by Leah Bendavid-Val features the work of 10 of the country’s most celebrated photojournalists.

The collaborative project was inspired by work done in the 1930s and 1940s by photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) to document the experiences of Americans at all economic levels during the Great Depression and World War II.


Washing eggs, 1940

Washing eggs to be sold at Tri-County Farmers Co-op Market at Du Bois, Pennsylvania, on Reitz farm in August 1940.
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Washing eggs, 1940

Washing eggs to be sold at Tri-County Farmers Co-op Market at Du Bois, Pennsylvania, on Reitz farm in August 1940.
2 View

Young farm worker, 1942

With the nation's manpower recruited into the armed forces, youngsters like this future farmer of Ohio took an important part in agricultural activities; Sept. 1942.
3 View

Ross-Hocking land project home

Home of family to be resettled; Ross-Hocking land project, Ohio; April 1936.
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Chillicothe, Ohio mother

Mother of a family of five to be resettled on Ross-Hocking Land Project near Chillicothe, Ohio; April 1936.
5 View

Scioto Farms, Ohio

Farmer feeding hogs, Scioto Farms, Ohio, May 1938.
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Scioto Farms

Arthur Rothstein took this photo in June 1938. Pictured are Earl Armentrout, wife and youngest child at Scioto Farms, Ohio.


Some of those period photographs by such icons as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Gordon Parks are included in the new book, along with contemporary images by FCDA photographers David Burnett, Alan China, Donna Ferrato, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Stanley Greene, Andrew Lichtenstein, Carol Javier Ortiz, Darcy Padilla, Lucian Perkins and Maggie Steber.

“The magnificent photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection at the Library of Congress have inspired several generations of photojournalists,” said Acting Librarian of Congress David Mao.

Like their FSA counterparts, FCDA photographers have chronicled the challenges of Americans at a particular time in history. Their work tells compelling stories of people around the country who are coping with issues and events such as immigration, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the great recession and profound economic disparity.


The 252-page hardcover book contains more than 200 images as well as interviews with Library of Congress photography experts, which together illustrate photojournalism’s role in engendering change in America.

The FCDA photographers are introduced in essays that describe their history, work and aspirations for the project.

The book is available for $60 in the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit-card orders are taken at 888-682-3557 or

The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division holds more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day.

More than 1 million of those images, including the Farm Security Administration photographs, are available online For more information, visit


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