“I always look at things closely, and I look at a lot of details because all of a sudden there is something I never saw before” (291). This is the answer Flávio da Silva offers when asked if he ever reads, quoted in “Freedom’s Fearful Foe: Poverty,” the photo essay the famed photographer Gordon Parks made about him and his family for Life magazine in 1961. Flávio’s retort also encapsulates the ways Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story, the companion book to a travelling exhibition by the same name, brings into sharper focus the sketchy details of how Flávio’s life became a founding metaphor in a tale meant to illustrate the dangers of Castroism and communism in Brazil and Latin America. The main contribution of the book is to underscore the editorial, geopolitical, and ideological conditions behind the production...

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