Broken Manual

Broken Manual by Alec Soth & Lester B. Morrison

Created over four years (2006-2010), Alec Soth’s newest book represents a significant departure from his previous publications. Entitled ‘Broken Manual,’ Soth investigates the places in which people retreat to escape civilization. Soth photographs monks, survivalists, hermits and runaways,but this isn’t a conventional documentary book on life “off the grid.” Instead, working with the writer Lester B. Morrison, the authors have created an underground instruction manual for those looking to escape their lives.

It is common for artists to follow up the publication of their books with ‘Special Editions,’ but in the case of Broken Manual, this edition is being presented first. Made in an edition of 300, Soth calls this the ‘Ideal Edition’ of Broken Manual. Each copy of the book is housed inside of another, one-of-a-kind book. These signed and numbered ‘shell’ books are unique and cut by hand. Inside the shell, there is also a small booklet entitled ‘Liberation Billfold Manifest’ and an 8×10” print signed and numbered by Alec Soth and Lester B. Morrison.

Special Editon of 300 copies

Softcover 21 cm x 29.7 cm, housed in its own unique book-safe, with a signed and numbered Alec Soth photograph and a small booklet.


Buy it here

Price will increase after the sale of the first 50 copies of the edition.

Installation view of 300 copies of Broken Manual Special Edition at Walker Art Center, 7 September 2010

Buy it here

11 Responses

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  1. sam anthony said, on September 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

    is there anywhere on-line i can see the print from the broken manual edition?

    many thanks


  2. Theron said, on September 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I’m curious about pricing, and the escalating scale? Do books have more power when less people have them or can afford them?

  3. guilherme gerais said, on September 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm


    Are you guys planning to release a ‘simple edition’ someday?


  4. alec said, on September 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Guilherme – Yes, Steidl will be releasing a trade edition in the Spring. And they have a few advance copies here:

  5. Kevin said, on September 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Sweet book. Great scam.

    Is the 8×10 a c-print or inkjet?

  6. Luuk said, on October 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I think it is ridiculous that a book like this which is such a great idea, is so expensive. I think it it should be available to people who aren’t in touch with art at all, make it understandable for them. In this wit it is just a pretty expensive ‘instruction manual. Which will sell anyway because there’s a name on it!

  7. Leonard Bruce Miller said, on October 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Dear Luuk,

    While people like you and I are not able to afford the Special Edition of the Broken Manual, there is also the trade edition which can be ours for $75 which is just as expensive as most photobooks. If you had read the thread above you would have seen that info.

    you can buy the trade ed. here:


  8. Mike said, on December 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Leonard. Do you work for Little Brown Mushroom?

    -Lester Brown Morrison
    -Leonard Bruce Miller
    -Little Brown Mushroom?


  9. blinkypalermoo said, on January 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

    This looks amazing

  10. anne kristoff said, on March 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Was in the AIPAD booth with the Broken Manual photos today. Someone behind me exclaimed “LOOK AT THAT!”

    I concur.

    Personally: Love the disco ball in the woods.

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