Over the course of a seven-day period, May 12-18, 2003, more than 25,000 professional and amateur photographers, including 36 Pulitzer Prize winners, were issued an unusual challenge: Go out and create a visual time capsule. Make extraordinary images of everyday American life. The effort became one of Oprah’s “favorite things” and a representative visual journal of America given to a variety of foreign nations by the U.S. Department of State.

a24-7_coverdrop1As the Senior Editor and Essayist for this New York Times best-selling photography book project created by Rick Smolan, I was tasked with creating an editorial structure, identifying and hiring key section introductory essayists (including Barbara Kingsolver, Olen Butler, Charles Johnson, and Naomi Nye), writing and editing hundreds of photo descriptions, and more.

You can read my own essay contribution, which opened the book section “America at Play,” by clicking here (PDF).


The front page slideshow image (“Road’s Scholars”) is a trimmed-to-fit version of this full photo, copyright ©2009 Robert Falcetti- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.