Book Review – Tobacco Barns of Western KY

Tobacco Barns of Western KentuckyTobacco Barns of Western Kentucky by Lynn Bartlett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An incredible book by a talented photographer over three years in the making, this volume is a colorful panoply of delights. The old barns of Kentucky’s tobacco past are disappearing as the land and “progress” reclaims them. Here, Bartlett has captured the look and feel of a people’s history, a land reclamation and a sense of retrospective. But there’s nothing sterile here. Instead you get a true sense of the land, the love the author feels for the subject and the sense of protectionism that she feels for her subject. The compassion arrayed in her layout if obvious and you come away with a real sadness for a lost history but sharing her love and joy for the land and the memories of a people’s once thriving industry.

The photography is sharp and vivid, the colors a mix of stormy and early morning, with a few interesting black and white mixed in. Comments are kept to a bare minimum but provide needed and necessary historical insight.

I was blown away at both the size (12×9) and the minimum price. If you are a lover of our country’s hidden past, and a Kentuckian, you must get this book. I wanted it because my father was from KY, and I know the author from when we were children. With this book, Bartlett has established herself as both a professional photographer of renown and an insightful author. I hope she will do another such book in other areas of our country because I see her as becoming a much sought after pictorial historian.

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