Jonatahn Sa’adah: How Many Roads? Looks at life in America during the 1960s and 1970s (PHOTOS).

Anti-War Protests, Broken Down VW Buses, and Other Snapshots of American Life in the ’60s and ’70s

Anti-War Protests, Broken Down VW Buses, and Other Snapshots of American Life in the ’60s and ’70s

Behold
The Photo Blog
Dec. 9 2014 12:38 PM

Anti-War Protests, Broken Down VW Buses, and Other Snapshots of American Life in the ’60s and ’70s

Street people in the Bowery, New York City, 1968.
Street people in the Bowery, New York City, 1968.

Jonathan Sa'adah

From a very young age, Jonathan Sa’adah had two hobbies: the news and mechanical objects. At 11, he bought his first camera, a Polaroid 95b. Then, on the advice of his older brother, he began working with a somewhat bulky Miranda Sensorex that he used through his enrollment at Dartmouth College.

During a one-year program at MIT, Sa’adah ended up working with photography legend Minor White, who encouraged Sa’adah to learn how to properly print in the darkroom. But it was a lunch with Gary Winogrand, who held workshops and photography contests at Dartmouth, that really influened Sa’adah’s photography career.

“He said you’re using a big bulky reflex camera. Get a Leica, you’ll be so happy that way,” Sa’adah recalled. “So after that, in 1969, I had an M4 Leica that was part of my hand. It still has the chrome rubbed off of it from me using it all the time.”

Podium, anti-Vietnam war demonstration (Arthur Miller, William Sloane Coffin, William Styron), New Haven, Connecticut, March 1968.
Podium, anti-Vietnam war demonstration (Arthur Miller, William Sloane Coffin, William Styron), New Haven, Connecticut, March 1968.

Jonathan Sa'adah

West Side Drive after collapse, New York City, 1974.
West Side Drive after collapse, New York City, 1974.

Jonathan Sa'adah

Engine fire, Windsor, Connecticut, 1975.
Engine fire, Windsor, Connecticut, 1975.

Jonathan Sa'adah

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Phoenicia Publishing, owned by Sa’adah’s wife Elizabeth Adams, recently published a collection of images taken around that time through 1975 into a book called How Many Roads? The book, divided into three sections, provides plenty of subtle moments that transport the age-appropriate viewer back in time: Anti-war protests, a broken down VW bus, snapshots of seemingly all American families, and portraits of people who could just as easily be mistaken for your neighborhood barista.

US army base, Vicenza, Italy, September 1975.
U.S. army base, Vicenza, Italy, September 1975.

Jonathan Sa'adah

Going Back-to-the-Land, Steve at woodshed door, Norwich, Vermont, 1972.
Going Back-to-the-Land, Steve at woodshed door, Norwich, Vermont, 1972.

Jonathan Sa'adah

Army doctor returning to the US shortly after Tet offensive, New Haven, Connecticut, Fall 1968.
Army doctor returning to the U.S. shortly after the Tet Offensive, New Haven, Connecticut, Fall 1968.

Jonathan Sa'adah

Sa’adah said that he was conscious of selecting images that would resonate with viewers who lived during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but was still surprised by the extent to which this was true.

“People benchmark their lives by different events,” he said. “I was trying to bring people in by letting them benchmark against what happened to them. People want to talk about what happened and what they were going through during that period. They are coming to me and saying this is my experience at that time, your pictures from that period brought back memories.”

The editing process was also a chance for Sa’adah to reflect back on his own life.

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“I got in touch with many of the people in the pictures, many of whom I hadn’t seen in decades,” he said. “It felt odd to go back to a period like that and think about it. There’s so much from that time that connects to the present so it has been interesting to me.”

Don Cherry driving to concert in Boston, I-89 New Hampshire, 1970.
Don Cherry driving to a concert in Boston, I-89 New Hampshire, 1970.

Jonathan Sa'adah

A bright but short flame: Franny playing recorder, Union Village, Vermont, 1971.
A bright but short flame: Franny playing recorder, Union Village, Vermont, 1971.

Jonathan Sa'adah

Young professor supports demonstrators outside college president's office, Hanover, New Hampshire, Spring 1969.
A young professor supports demonstrators outside the college president's office, Hanover, New Hampshire, Spring 1969.

Jonathan Sa'adah

March on Washington, October 1969.
March on Washington, October 1969.

Jonathan Sa'adah

Evangelical Christians interrupted by street people, Central Park, 1974.
Evangelical Christians interrupted by street people, Central Park, New York City, 1974.

Jonathan Sa'adah

David Rosenberg is the editor of Slate’s Behold blog. He has worked as a photo editor for 15 years and is a tennis junkie. Follow him on Twitter.