Walker Evans. American photographs. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1938

“Meanwhile Evans became the first photographer to be granted a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art (…) The accompanying book, American Photographs, is also a careful ordering of pictures. Part one is a cumulative sequence looking at America’s citizens and the penetration of photography into daily life through advertising, cinema, and the printed page. Each image affects the reading of the next and the next. Part two is an album of vernacular American architecture, compiled as an indirect portrait of a country increasingly alienated from a disappearing past it no longer seems to understand or even value. Nearly half the images in American Photographs contain other images, while a quarter depict automobiles and roadside life. Evans was less interested in the great cities, preferring the small towns chanced upon by car. Here one could see new technology and new culture alongside an acceptance of the past. This practical and pragmatic mixture provided the truest record of America.”

David Campany. Walker Evans. New York: Aperture Foundation, 2015

"American Photographs holds a well-deserved place at the top of the pantheon, and should be studied assiduously by any photographer attempting the tricky business of compiling a coherent photobook. It is a complex, elliptical, hugely ambitious work, exemplifying all the qualities that Evans demanded from serious photography. However, it must be said that it is also a flawed book, its ambition perhaps finally outstripping its achievement, particullary in its second section, which is less fully realized than the first".

Martin Parr, Gerry Badger. The photobook: a history, volume I. London: Phaidon, 2004 (p. 114)