Monday, March 10, 2008

Stryker's America

“Stryker’s America” Featured on Spring Catalog Covers

Stryker’s America, a new documentary by Laurence Levin and Justin Schauble, is the featured, cover selection on the 2008 Films for the Humanities & Sciences Spring Catalog (

Stryker’s America creatively weaves the tale of a small “New Deal” program within the Department of Agriculture as it single-handedly recorded the iconic images of the national tragedy today known as “The Great Depression.” Roy Emerson Stryker was the unlikely leader of the History Division of the depression era FSA. Not a photographer himself, Stryker recruited and directed a passionate and diverse group of photographers who traveled America and documented the ongoing human tragedy.

Stryker was charged with providing dramatic and hard-hitting photographic evidence that illustrated the extreme level suffering then being experienced for the U.S. populace and for Congress. Stryker’s final product exceeded his charge, kick-started the careers of some of the 20th Century’s most celebrated photographers, and re-defined documentary photography. The images from this collection include, Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother," Arthur Rothstein’s “Dust Bowl” and Gordon Park’s “American Gothic.”

Interviews, archival footage, and still photographs show how one man’s passion changed the lives of thousands. Featured are interviews with Beverly Brannan, photography curator, Library of Congress, Alan Fern, retired director of the National Portrait Gallery, and Peter Kuznick, American University history professor. Schauble and Levin collaborated on this project as graduate students at American University.

“Brilliant documentary filmmaking,” said Frank Van Riper of the Washington Post. “Levin and Schauble offer a warts-and-all look at Stryker and his cadre of young photographers… and at a government program that began as propaganda and blossomed… into a priceless historical record of America between the two World Wars.”

Films for the Humanities & Sciences is the nation’s leading distributor of educational media to libraries and higher education. Julian Chiabella, FHS Acquisitions Manager, described Stryker’s America "as an involving illumination of a fascinating period of American history. It is a wonderful supplement to history, photography and government class curricula.”

Stryker’s America is available exclusively from Films for the Humanities on their website: 800-257-5126

For more information click: Stryker's America

First Lady Laura Bush at USAID

March 7--Washington, DC--First Lady Laura Bush and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator and Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, Henrietta H. Fore, celebrated International Women's Day. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the advancement of women throughout the world and inspire all women to achieve their full potential. This day also serves as a reminder of the continued action that is required to ensure women's equality in every country.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

March 03--Bethesda, MD--By an act by Congress, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health was renamed the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Over 40 years ago, Mrs. Shriver urged her brother, President John Kennedy, to establish an institute that would conduct research on children's health and human development. Since its inception, the institute has conducted research that seeks to understand human development throughout the life process, focusing on developmental disorders, including intellectual disabilities, and illuminating important events that occur during pregnancy and childhood.

Mrs. Shriver was inducted into the NICHD Hall of Honor. Housed in the institute's Bethesda, Maryland headquarters, the Hall of Honor features commemorative plaques which recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions to advancing knowledge of human development and improving maternal and child health.

Mrs. Shriver with her son, Timothy Shriver

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with Mrs. Shriver