America's Colorful Characters

Paul Simon wrote a hit song about it. Utah named a state park after it. But for millions of Americans between the end of World War II and the mid-'60s, Kodachrome was the recording angel of their lives. A matchless color film, like Technicolor, it made life look not just lifelike. It made it look like Oz.

Now, in "Americans in Kodachrome," it looks even better. Using dye-transfer printing, a process that is usually reserved for fashion photography and art photographs, Guy Stricherz has selected 92 family photos, all of them made by amateurs, and turned them into a glistening portfolio of midcentury American life.

Picnics, Christmas, birthdays, vacations, prom night and the big fish that didn't get away--if you spend just a little time with this book, you will start wondering if you're not related to almost everyone else in the country ("My aunt used to have a tablecloth that's just like that one").

As Stricherz says in an eloquent afterword, "each image is a mystery with a private meaning unknown to us, yet each holds a truth common to us all." Part of the magic can be attributed to Stricherz's genius for selecting great images. Partly it has to do with the fact that sooner or later everyone who picks up a camera takes a great photograph. Explain it any way you want, but every image in this book is a keeper.

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