“ ‘Some objects are more alive than most humans,’ the Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer once told me. He was looking at a 300-year-old cabinet when he said it, but he could have been looking at Jim Dow’s new book American Studies, a work of the greatest love, patience, and mastery. It is a rich and vivid inventory of American individuality and of the human imagination at work. The fierce affection Jim Dow evokes for time and place awakens in us the realization that we have perhaps loved this wild world and its wonders less than we should. In these photographs, objects and places, some of them now past, are intensely alive.”

—Emmet Gowin, photographer and professor emeritus, Princeton University

“Jim Dow’s American Studies describes the country in photographs at once broadly eloquent and meticulously detailed. Taking as subject all manner of human endeavor, Dow traversed this nation, east to west, north to south, making photographs over the better part of half a century—yet it is in the poetry of his telling that he gives us a deeply generous, insightful, witty, and idiosyncratic ballad of our times.”

—Laura McPhee, photographer

“Jim Dow’s photographs don’t just document the world as it is, they reveal the beauty and mystery and sadness hidden beneath the surface of everyday objects and landscapes. Dow’s a master, a photographer with the eye of a journalist and the heart of a poet.”

—Tom Perrotta, author

“Dominating Dow’s peopleless photographs are the people. Lurking in the borders of every picture is the human impulse to mark one’s passing through ordinary days, to let the imagination wander, to allow some pleasure to creep into one’s work, to wonder.”

—Laurel Reuter, director, North Dakota Museum of Art

“Jim Dow shows us the American soul plain and simple, with a deep eloquence seldom seen in photography. Reverent in an age of irony and cynicism, Dow works not out of nostalgia but a vision fueled by a genuine desire to know where we’ve come from and what we’re made of. American Studies will be an immediate classic.”

—Tom Rankin, photographer