Thomas Hoepker: The Way it was. Road Trips USA


This book is not yet published, but will be available from August 2022.

ISBN: 9783969990810 Category:


Thomas Hoepker was 27 years old when he set out on his ambitious journey across the United States-one that took him from coast to coast and back again over the course of three months and resulted in thousands of photos. The year was 1963 and Hoepker had been commissioned by the German magazine Kristall to “discover” America through his camera. The photo reportages he made, published in five issues of the magazine across dozens of pages, revealed Hoepker’s complex, skeptical and sometimes melancholy view of the American everyday, in big cities, small towns and all in between. His was an unromanticized vision in which the decadent existed alongside the desolate, the glitter with the grit.

As much as Hoepker recognized that the problematic American dream could go unfulfilled, he was fascinated with the country (settling in New York in 1976), and in 2020-at the age of 84 and after a successful career as a photojournalist and president of Magnum Photos-he once again set out on a road trip throughout the US. The Way It Was. Road Trips USA juxtaposes Hoepker’s colour photographs from this trip with his original black-and-white images, taking us on a journey both through his changing sense of America and through time.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 21.5 x 28 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 2 August 2022
Number of pages 192
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.5 x 28 cm
Weight 300 g


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Thomas Hoepker, born in Munich in 1936, studied art history and archeology in Munich and Göttingen and then worked regularly as a photographer for magazines and yearbooks. In 1964, Henri Nannen and Rolf Gilhausen were hired as photo reporters by the magazine stern. In 1989 he became a full member of the Magnum Photos agency and was its president from 2003 to 2007. From 2005 to 2006 he shot documentaries for SWR and arte in South America. Hoepker has lived in New York City since 1976.