Critical Focus eBook

1960s Photography eBook

Critical Focus cover smallEstuary Press has published an eBook edition of Critical FocusThe Black and White Photographs of Harvey Wilson Richards. The eBook contains more than the photos and text of the original 1986 book. Now, Critical Focus is a gateway to well over 1000 new photos and 22 documentary films by Harvey Richards available on the internet through the Harvey Richards Media Archive and Estuary Press. A new “List of Photographs” offers instant navigation to any photo in the eBook. “Endnotes” in the book contain links to the Harvey Richards Media Archive by subject.

Reissuing Critical Focus now, 28 years after its first print edition as an ebook is based on the continuing relevance of the subjects Harvey Richards photographed in the 1960s and the growing demand for his photography. Over the last 25 years, Harvey Richards films and photos have appeared in dozens documentaries, on TV and in magazines and many books. The challenges that protest movements of the 1960s presented our society then are more relevant than ever today.

Farm Workers on Strike, 1959-1966

1965, Dolores Huerta. Page 37, Critical Focus

Farm workers face the same harsh conditions in California agriculture as they did five decades ago as unions have retreated nationwide during these decades. Organic farming advances while Monsanto’s genetically modified organism permeate our industrial food system worldwide. Pesticides are poisoning farm workers and consumers alike. Understanding the impact of industrial farming on the land and people can help us create a more sustainable way of life.

The civil rights movements he photographed succeeded in abolishing legal segregation but defacto segregation in the cities continues to worsen. Seeing the faces of the civil rights activists of the 1960s inspires us now more than ever.

Comittee for Non Violent Action (CNVA)

1965, Oakland Army Base. Page 53, Critical Focus

The peace movement he was part of helped cut short the war in Vietnam but the forces of war have continued unabated today with our endless wars, one after another. The scope and power of the 1960s and ’70s peace movement has to be seen to be believed.

The environmental movement has advanced in popularity at the same time that deforestation and species extinction, water and air pollution continue to worsen. Open pit mining has created large scale ecological disasters all over the globe. Large scale corporate destruction of our environment continues to escalate. Harvey Richards provided us with seldom seen images of the impact of the modern mechanized economy on our planet.

Women and Children in Tashkent, 1961

1961, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Page 96, Critical Focus.

Harvey’s photography of the Soviet Union continues to be relevant even after the USSR disappeared as people around the world consider the meaning of its history. Focusing on women and children in a socialist society, as Harvey and Alice Richards’ two films on the USSR did, offers viewers a glimpse of a humane way of life promised by the socialist vision that Harvey and Alice embraced throughout their lives.

Reissuing Critical Focus as an eBook offers Harvey Richards’ historical photography to internet ready computers and other devices through the world wide web. The Harvey Richards photography has been viewed on the web by tens of thousands and, through Paul Richards’ YouTube channel, hundreds of thousands of people in 110 countries. Combined with Amazon Instant Videos of all of Harvey Richards films, with links to all of them in the Critical Focus eBook, Internet users now have instant access to images of the protests of the 1960s in both still and video formats. Critical Focus is needed now more than ever.


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