Photographer Bill Ganzel tracked down some of the same people and places first photographed by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In this completely new iBook edition, then-and-now photo pairs plus 16 embedded video segments bring the images and actual voices of survivors of the Depression to life. Now, the Covid pandemic, tensions of migration and racism, and global warming are causing many to wonder if there could be another Great Depression. In the face of existential crisis, how did these ordinary people find the grace to not only survive but come back to life?
Ken Burns, the documentary producer for PBS, says he was "captivated" by the print edition of "Dust Bowl Descent." "The simple brilliance of the idea, but also the sheer tenacity involved in taking that idea to such terrific completion. It seemed an amazing feat. The book is both an artistic work of photography and also an important historic document in itself."
Errol Morris, Academy Award winning producer, also praised the book in his book "Believing is Seeing." He wrote, "[The book] reminds me of the power of images, about fathers and sons, about the adversity of the dust bowl, about the distance in time that separates us from events in the past – and all of that hovers around [Ganzel's] photographs."