Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, with text by James Agee and photographs by Walker Evans, was published in 1941. The book focused on three tenant cotton-farming families living in Hale County, Alabama, during the Depression. Agee invented the name "Gudger" for the book; this family's real name was Burroughs. The Burroughses hosted Agee and Evans for nearly a month, and this photograph was made at George Burroughs's request.
The family sits and stands against the side of their house, dressed in their best clothing, posing for a family photograph. George Burroughs, standing at the center, does not smile; rather, he looks proud and strong, his arms extended across the shoulders of his wife and eldest daughter on either side of him. The photograph shows the Burroughses as they wished to be seen and differs from other photographs of them that express Evans's view, portraying their situation more bleakly.