Christian Patterson’s Favorite Book from 2021

American Blood by Danny Lyon.   Published by Karma Books.

Yeah, it's 2021 and I'm choosing a book by an old white man, because there is perhaps no other photographer whose images have as widely and effectively documented social change in America as Danny Lyon. American Blood's 400 pages present a selection of Lyon's writings and photographs spanning six decades of life, work, social struggle and change in America. The book includes a 19-year-old Lyon's proposal that death row executions be televised and preceded by the national anthem, and then travels through the Civil Rights movement where Lyon met his lifelong friend John Lewis, his time as the first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), his work with death row inmates in the Texas prison system, a remembrance of Robert Frank, and a three-part installment on "The End of the Age of Photography." An inspiring read that inspires plenty of mental imagery, with supporting illustrations.

Christian Patterson is an artist in New York City.