Karma Books, New York

Hardcover, 6.5 x 9.25 in. / 396 pgs / 16 color / 57 bw.

Pub Date

D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: MID WINTER 2020 p. 4   

ISBN 9781949172454 TRADE
List Price: $35.00 CDN $49.00 GBP £30.00

Awaiting stock

Danny Lyon on photography, the Southern civil rights movement, prison reform, Robert Frank, pseudohistory, climate criminals, the 60s and the Koch Brothers. Plus, interviews with Hugh Edwards, Nan Goldin and Susan Meiselas.

"Over time I came to believe that, as the modern corporate world developed in America, reality and humanity itself were threatened, not with a physical but with a spiritual extinction. Humanity itself became an endangered species in my mind, and I was drawn to picture people and places that exuded their humanity. In doing so I preserved my own."



Danny Lyon: American Blood

Edited with introduction by Randy Kennedy. Conversations with Hugh Edwards, Nan Goldin, Susan Meiselas.

A half-century of social change in America, documented in the writings of Danny Lyon, photographer and author of The Bikeriders and The Destruction of Lower Manhattan

“From the beginning, even before he left the University of Chicago and headed south to take up a position as the first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Danny Lyon dreamed of being an artist in language as well as in pictures,” writes Randy Kennedy in the introduction to American Blood. In 1961, at the age of 19, for example, Lyons penned a brutally satirical article for a student mimeo magazine in which he argued for the deterrent power of prime-time televised executions (“the show would open, no doubt, like a baseball game, with a rendition of the National Anthem”).

Lyon is widely celebrated for his groundbreaking work in photography and film. Less recognized is the extensive body of writing that has broadened and reinforced his reach, in both the pages of his own publications and in others as varied as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Review of Books, Aperture, civil rights publications, underground magazines and Lyon's blog.

This 400-page volume spans republished and previously unpublished texts from nearly six decades of his career, comprising a vast, meticulously archived history of American social change. Also included are conversations between Lyon and Hugh Edwards, Nan Goldin and Susan Meiselas. As Kennedy writes, Lyon’s collected writings, “remarkable as both artistic and moral models, remain far too little known, especially for an author who has seen what he has seen and possesses the rare ability to write about it as he speaks; Lyon is a world-class talker, funny, wise, sanguine and indefatigable.”

Danny Lyon (born 1942) is one of the most influential documentary photographers of the last five decades. His many books include The Movement (1964), The Bikeriders, The Destruction of Lower Manhattan (1969), Knave of Hearts (1999), Like a Thief’s Dream (2007) and Deep Sea Diver (2011).

Danny Lyon: American Blood

STATUS: Forthcoming | 12/22/2020

This title is not yet published in the U.S. To pre-order or receive notice when the book is available, please email orders @


Message to the Parkland Students
Originally published on Lyon’s blog, 2018

Charles McDew died this week. He was seventy-nine, and most of you kids have never heard of him. When he was very young, Chuck McDew was a giant. He was also once a very close personal friend. There is a lesson for you children in Charles McDew’s life, and here it is:

He was driving from school in South Carolina back home to Ohio when he was stopped by a state trooper. When the cop addressed him as “boy” and Chuck refused to say “yes, sir.” He was asked again, and when Charles, who was perhaps the funniest person in the movement, laughed, the officer broke his jaw. He had already been arrested three times in two days for violating racial laws. When the sit-ins exploded across the south “a group of us decided to drop out of school and devote the next five years of our life to this,” he said. A few would die, others would fall apart, one became the mayor of Washington, and some are in Congress today. They and their organization succeeded. They broke the back of Jim Crow. They were admired across the globe, and the world as we know it has never been the same since they did what they did. In 1960 Charles became a founding member of an organization of students, led by students, with no oversight by older people. It was called the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee or SNCC. When we were buddies, Charles was the committee’s chairman. From 1960 to 1964, SNCC was the point of the spear of the Southern civil rights movement.

This is Charles’s message to you children. Organize now, and do not let adults lead you. Do not think a leader will appear. No Martin Luther King, Jr., will come to lead you, because he didn’t lead the civil rights movement. This is a reductive picture promoted by the establishment and the media. Dozens stood beside, behind and in front of Dr. King—dozens of brave, young men and women. Chuck McDew was one of these, a great American hero.

Don’t worry about education or the future. Your education will be in the streets, and your diploma will be the revolutions this sad country and this planet so desperately longs for.


Danny Lyon: American Blood


Edited with introduction by Randy Kennedy. Conversations with Hugh Edwards, Nan Goldin, Susan Meiselas.


ISBN: 9781949172454
USD $35.00
| CAN $49 UK £ 30

Pub Date: 12/22/2020

print icon

arrow back

arrow next


the art world's source for books on art & culture


212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST


800 338 2665



Showroom by Appointment Only
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York NY 10004
Tel   212 627 1999

Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.

All site content Copyright C 2000-2017 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.


The D.A.P. Catalog