The Usable Past

From daguerreotypes to digital.
Jan. 22 1998 3:30 AM

The Usable Past

Pictures from America's unsavory history.

Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States
By Vincent Virga and the curators of the Library of Congress, with historical commentary by Alan Brinkley
Knopf; 416 pages; $75

Dreamland: America at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
By Michael Lesy
New Press; 207 pages; $40

Walter Kirn is a regular contributor to Slate.