The Americans (Hardcover)
In 1958, the first edition of Robert Frank’s The Americans was published in Paris. Les Américains contained Frank’s 83 photographs in the same sequence as all subsequent editions, with the image on the right hand page, but juxtaposed with historical texts about American society and politics, gathered by Alain Bosquet. The following year, in the first American edition, the French texts were removed and an introduction by Jack Kerouac was added. Over the subsequent 50 years, The Americans has been republished in many editions, in numerous languages, with a variety of cover designs, and even in a range of sizes. It is the most famous photography book ever published, and it changed the face of the medium forever.
Robert Frank discussed with his publisher, Gerhard Steidl, the idea of producing a new edition using modern scanning and the finest tritone printing. The starting point was to bring original prints from New York to Göttingen, Germany, where Steidl is based.
In July 2007, Frank visited Göttingen. A new format for the book was worked out and new typography selected. A new cover was designed and Frank chose the book cloth, foil for embossing, and the endpaper. Most significantly, as he has done for every edition of The Americans, Frank changed the cropping of many of the photographs, usually including more information. Two images were changed completely from the original 1958 and 1959 editions.