One of the most simple and yet brilliant concepts to come out of the publishing world this year (at least in my opinion) is a gorgeous narrative & photography volume from Welcome Books called The Oxford Project. An aisle-congestion-inducing phenomenon at BEA, this book is comprised of photos taken of every resident of the town of Oxford, Iowa (population 676) in 1984 and photos of those same people in 2004. Simple, right? Maybe. Maybe not.
What the collaborators got, putting this all together, and taking down the life stories of these small-town citizens, was a complex, honest, and moving embodiment of the American spirit. The Project itself has already been covered in the New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and Art Works Magazine. Watch the book trailer and enjoy. This is one of my favorite books of 2008.[youtube pPLZRUDhawE&feature=related]