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Book cover for American/True Colors
December 2020
George F. Thompson Publishing

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American/True Colors

Stephen Marc

A grand new look at America in 2020 and how its population is changing.

From 2007 to 2020, spanning the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump, noted photographer Stephen Marc traveled throughout America in search of its people. He went to parades and protests, memorials and celebrations, rallies and rodeos, amusement parks and festivities, historic sites and city streets to see America as it is: multi-colored, multi-cultural, multi-racial, gender rich and more diverse and urban than ever before in the nation's history. Behind each of the book's 250 compelling images is a patriotic reminder of America's robustness and promise and ongoing struggles with race and socio-economic issues as it seeks to become, as Abraham Lincoln declared in 1862, "a more perfect union."

Stephen Marc's "American/True Colors" complements other significant photographic surveys of modern America: from Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson to Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Mary Ellen Mark, Eli Reed, Bruce Davidson, Zoe Strauss, Leonard Freed, Vivian Maier and others. But no photographer has so fully looked at America, from coast to coast, as has Stephen Marc with his unique African-American perspective.

"American/True Colors" is further enriched by a long interview with the artist by Rebecca A. Senf, Norton Family Curator of Photography at the Center for Creative Photography, and by a Jack Kerouac-like introductory essay by writer/critic Bill Kouwenhoven.


Stephen Marc is a professor of photography in the ASU School of Art. He began teaching at ASU in 1998, following 20 years at Columbia College in Chicago. He is a photographer and digital montage artist, whose work has been extensively exhibited throughout his career. 

Praise for this book

“This timely book presents a rollicking swing through the rambunctious diversity inscribing our country today. Rather than paper over our societal divisions, Marc’s vibrant pictures celebrate our cultural multiplicity and assertiveness, for it is here that he locates what it is to be American.”

John Rohrbach
Senior Curator of Photographs, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and author of "Accommodating Nature"

"'American/True Colors' puts on display the audacity of a people who strangely emerge. Some manifest like a drunk uncle who, despite his perceived flaws, is still family. More than enough has happened in recent years to show how we boldly sort through such a contradiction and often without ever saying as much. ... a snapshot of that 'sorting through' is offered in Stephen Marc's compelling photographs. They deftly illuminate our complicated times when everyone still gets to make claims, however violently and troubling, on the possibilities of the American dream.”

Sharony Green
Associate professor of history, University of Alabama, and author of "Remember Me to Miss Louisa"