Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: "Migrant Mother" by Don Nardo

Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great DepressionMigrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression by Don Nardo
Coughlan Publishing, 2011
64 pages
Review copy courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I love most about history is the people and the study of the everyday. What better way to connect with someone (sometimes) long past than an image, be it a tapestry, a painting or a photograph.

Migrant Mother tells the story of - and reveals the human faces - behind one iconic photograph, taken at a time when America (and the entire world) was dealing with a period of turmoil subsequently known as the Great Depression. While the focus of the book is on the lives of two women - the one featured in the photo and the one behind the lens - both during the time of the image and beyond, it also briefly details the effects of the Great Depression on families and the land.

The text is interspaced evenly with lots of images, as well as sidebars on a variety of topics. Nardo has also included a brief timeline, a list of additional resources, a glossary of terms, source notes, a bibliography, and a complete index.

Migrant Mother is an excellent resource for both the children it was written for and for adults. Anyone interested in the history of this particular image, as well as an introduction to the Great Depression and the effects it had on a single family, will benefit from flipping through this book.

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