The Power of Photography: How Photographs Changed Our Lives

Vicki Goldberg, Author Abbeville Press $45 (279p) ISBN 978-1-55859-039-7
``The influence of photography has been more carefully considered than the influence of particular photographs,'' writes Goldberg ( Margaret Bourke White ) in defining the purpose of her original, entertaining and informative illustrated social history. ``Unforgettable'' pictures of the dead at Gettysburg, the airship Hindenburg exploding, the flag-raising at Iwo Jima and the book's cover image, a young woman wailing over an antiwar protestor shot dead at Kent State--all these have ``influenced events,'' the author cogently demonstrates. In her analysis of the impact of specific photographs, Goldberg identifies some lasting and influential portrait ``icons,'' including Dorothea Lange's 1936 migrant mother as well as the benign head shot of Mao massively reproduced as an instrument of rule. Most telling of all is her account of how the widespread dissemination of certain pictures--black demonstrators attacked by dogs and firehoses, a Saigon curbside execution, a child burned by napalm--helped goad the public toward pressing for civil rights legislation and withdrawal from Vietnam. ( Nov. )
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-55859-467-8
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