Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation by Shelby Foote & Nell Dickerson

I received this e-book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.  I'm kind of embarrassed to say that that was about two or three years ago.  Um, I'm a little behind on my reviewing responsibilities.  But I'm working to get caught up.

This book was an e-book, but in print form, I would imagine it would be truly beautiful.  Nell Dickerson is a photographer, who has a strong interest in preserving the past...not just the past of the Old South, the focus of this book, but an interest in EVERYONE preserving their past.  She does this through photographing old Southern homes, architecture and design from the Civil War era.  In this book, she juxtaposes her photographs of these old homes with a story by her cousin, Shelby Foote, a famous Civil War historian and novelist, "Pillar of Fire."  The story is about the burning of an old plantation home in Mississippi by Union troops, at the tail end of the Civil War.

So what did I think of the book?  I very much enjoyed the short story.  But, honestly, I didn't pay much attention to the photos, as I was too wrapped up in the narrative to look closely at them.  They are beautiful photos, but my interest was more in Foote's words.  When I did stop to look at the photos, they didn't really seem to coincide with the story, and thus seemed a little pointless to me.  I would much rather the photos have their own book, where the story wouldn't detract from their importance.

Overall, three out of five Whatevers.  Recommended for Civil War buffs, photography nuts, and those with an interest in preserving our national heritage.


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