Why did I love this book?
A stunning assembly of archival photographs and newspaper clippings from Jackson County, Wisconsin, in the last decade and a half of the 19th century, and the definitive explanation of why nobody in old-time photographs is ever smiling—and, I choose to believe, the real reason the parts of The Wizard of Oz set in Kansas were filmed in black and white. Economic privation, unceasing bereavement, disease both physical and mental—in other words, Tuesday. Was there any joy in Jackson County? Somewhere, I’m sure. What’s documented here is a stark, powerful beauty. The most real book I’ve ever encountered, and one of two on face-out display on my bookshelves.