“Common ground,” the concept, seems like a mythical, unoccupied realm in these divisive times. Common Ground, the book, reminds us there are meaningful ties that connect us to each other and our communities. The story follows two families living on the same plot of land, but many years apart. Juxtaposed photos limn the commonalities that bind these families across space and time. Longtime farmers Harlow and Jean Cagwin sold their land, after decades of ownership, to a developer who turned it into a subdivision. Then Grabenhofers, with their four children, bought a home on the site where the Cagwin’s farmhouse once stood.
Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, Scott Strazzante, captures the simple yet profound moments that show how these two families who seem to live worlds apart nevertheless share a common bond . . . a common experience . . . a common ground – as, indeed, we all do. Maybe more so than we realize.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES : "...the book's unique strength is as a document about the past and present, the transformation of the American landscape and, as the title suggests, the human story that remains constant and connected through time, lying in the side-by-side or back-to-back pairings of small moments in these families' lives." - Evelyn Nieves / The New York Times --The New York Times
About the Author
A two-hour photo shoot assigned to Scott Strazzante in 1994 turned into a 20-year side project and his first book, Common Ground. It's the latest of his accomplishments in a career spanning three decades. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Strazzante worked at suburban newspapers before joining the Chicago Tribune in 2001. There, he was named Illinois Photographer of the Year an unprecedented 11 times, and was part of the Tribune team that won a 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. His work has appeared in National Geographic and Sports Illustrated. He now works at the San Francisco Chronicle.