Photojournalism: 150 Years of Outstanding Photography

Reuel Golden. Carlton, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-84732-636-2
Golden (Masters of Photography), former editor of the British Journal of Photography, offers a tour of the achievements in worldwide photojournalism of the last 150 years, featuring iconic, storied images of 54 notable photojournalists. His analyses and minibiographies, which can occasionally feel sketchy, are generally informative and sometimes fascinating. Of Margaret Bourke-White, for example, we learn, "She did lasting damage to her reputation when she smuggled in a camera to shoot the grieving family and friends gathered around a dying Gandhi." Many of the photographs are of wars (particularly vivid and well-composed shots of 1941–1942 battles in the U.S.S.R. by Dmitri Baltermants), as well as of natural catastrophes (the American Carl Mydans photos of the effects of the 1948 Faqu, Japan, earthquake) and human-made ones (the Indian Raghu Rai's images of the 1984 Bhopal disaster). Just as striking are the photographers who focused on social trends and social justice, such as the American Lewis Hines's photographs of immigrants to the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century and the Italian Alex Majoli's remarkable shots of a squalid Greek insane asylum. One can question some of Golden's choices; for example, why is Judah Passow the one Israeli photojournalist included, and not perhaps the more talented Micha Bar Am or David Rubinger? Such small quibbles aside, this aesthetically rich, reasonably priced book is a wonderful introduction to the subject. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-84732-116-9
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