Photographer Biographies
Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa
Blood and Champagne
The Life and Times of Robert Capa
Paperback      ISBN: 0306813564
"A spellbinding portrait."--The Sunday Times

Robert Capa (1913-1954), one of the finest photojournalists and combat photographers of the twentieth century, covered every major conflict from the Spanish Civil War to the early conflict in Vietnam. Always close to the action, he created some of the most enduring images ever made with a camera--perhaps none more memorable than the gritty photos taken on the morning of D-Day.
But the drama of Capa's life wasn't limited to one side of the lens. Born in Budapest as Andre Freidman, Capa fled political repression and anti-Semitism as a teenager by escaping to Berlin, where he first picked up a Leica camera. He founded Magnum, which today remains the most prestigious photographic agency of its kind. He was a gambler and seducer of several of his era's most alluring icons, including Ingrid Bergman, and his friends included Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and John Huston.
From Budapest in the twenties to Paris in the thirties, from postwar Hollywood to Stalin's Russia, from New York to Indochina, Blood and Champagne is a wonderfully evocative account of Capa's life and times.
Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers
Bluff City
The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393247929

Who was Ernest Withers? Most Americans may not know the name, but they do know his photographs. Withers took some of the most legendary images of the 1950s and '60s: Martin Luther King, Jr., riding a newly integrated bus in Montgomery, Alabama; Emmett Till's uncle pointing an accusatory finger across the courtroom at one of his nephew's killers; scores of African-American protestors, carrying a forest of signs reading "I am a man." But while he enjoyed unparalleled access to the inner workings of the civil rights movement, Withers was working as an informant for the FBI.

In this gripping narrative history, Preston Lauterbach examines the complicated political and economic forces that informed Withers's seeming betrayal of the people he photographed. Withers traversed disparate worlds, from Black Power meetings to raucous Memphis nightclubs where Elvis brushed shoulders with B.B. King. He had a gift for capturing both dramatic historic moments and intimate emotional ones, and it may have been this attention to nuance that made Withers both a brilliant photographer and an essential asset to the FBI. Written with similar nuance, Bluff City culminates with a riveting account of the 1968 riot that ended in violence just a few days before Dr. King's death.

Brimming with new information and featuring previously unpublished and rare photographs from the Withers archive not seen in over fifty years, Bluff City grapples with the legacy of a man whose actions--and artistry--make him an enigmatic and fascinating American figure.

Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers
Bluff City
The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers
Paperback      ISBN: 0393358089

Ernest Withers took some of the most legendary images of the 1950s and '60s: Martin Luther King, Jr., riding a newly integrated bus in Montgomery, Alabama; Emmett Till's uncle pointing an accusatory finger across the courtroom at his nephew's killer; scores of African-American protestors carrying a forest of signs reading "i am a man." But at the same time, Withers was working as an FBI informant. In this gripping narrative history, Preston Lauterbach examines the complicated political and economic forces that informed Withers's seeming betrayal of the people he photographed, and "does a masterful job of telling the story of civil rights in Memphis in the 1960s" (Ed Ward, Financial Times), including the events surrounding Dr. King's tumultuous final march in Memphis.

The Book of Mev
The Book of Mev
Paperback      ISBN: 1413462707

The Book of Mev is the story of Mev Puleo, an American photojournalist and young Catholic who actively confronted a world of injustice, poverty and violence. From witnessing homelessness in the United States to struggles for social change in Haiti, El Salvador, and Brazil, Puleo used photography and interviews to be a bridge between poverty and affluence, the First World and the Third World. Puleo's familiarity with suffering, however, was dramatically intensified when she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of thirty-one. She died twenty-one months later.

Carleton Watkins: Making the West American
Carleton Watkins
Making the West American
Hardcover      ISBN: 0520287983

"A fascinating and indispensable book."--Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

Best Books of 2018--The Guardian

Gold Medal for Contribution to Publishing, 2018 California Book Awards

Carleton Watkins (1829-1916) is widely considered the greatest American photographer of the nineteenth century and arguably the most influential artist of his era. He is best known for his pictures of Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias.

Watkins made his first trip to Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove in 1861 just as the Civil War was beginning. His photographs of Yosemite were exhibited in New York for the first time in 1862, as news of the Union's disastrous defeat at Fredericksburg was landing in newspapers and while the Matthew Brady Studio's horrific photographs of Antietam were on view. Watkins's work tied the West to Northern cultural traditions and played a key role in pledging the once-wavering West to Union.

Motivated by Watkins's pictures, Congress would pass legislation, later signed by Abraham Lincoln, that preserved Yosemite as the prototypical "national park," the first such act of landscape preservation in the world. Carleton Watkins: Making the West American includes the first history of the birth of the national park concept since pioneering environmental historian Hans Huth's landmark 1948 "Yosemite: The Story of an Idea."

Watkins's photographs helped shape America's idea of the West, and helped make the West a full participant in the nation. His pictures of California, Oregon, and Nevada, as well as modern-day Washington, Utah, and Arizona, not only introduced entire landscapes to America but were important to the development of American business, finance, agriculture, government policy, and science. Watkins's clients, customers, and friends were a veritable "who's who" of America's Gilded Age, and his connections with notable figures such as Collis P. Huntington, John and Jessie Benton Fr mont, Eadweard Muybridge, Frederick Billings, John Muir, Albert Bierstadt, and Asa Gray reveal how the Gilded Age helped make today's America.

Drawing on recent scholarship and fresh archival discoveries, Tyler Green reveals how an artist didn't just reflect his time, but acted as an agent of influence. This telling of Watkins's story will fascinate anyone interested in American history; the West; and how art and artists impacted the development of American ideas, industry, landscape, conservation, and politics.
A Choice of Weapons
A Choice of Weapons
Paperback      ISBN: 0873517695

Gordon Parks (1912-2006)--the groundbreaking photographer, writer, composer, activist, and filmmaker--was only sixteen in 1928 when he moved from Kansas to St. Paul, Minnesota, after his mother's death. There, homeless and hungry, he began his fight to survive, to educate himself, and to fulfill his potential dream.

This compelling autobiography, first published in 1966, now back in print by popular demand and with a new foreword by Wing Young Huie, tells how Parks managed to escape the poverty and bigotry around him and to launch his distinguished career by choosing the weapons given him by "a mother who placed love, dignity, and hard work over hatred." Parks, the first African American to work at Life magazine and the first to write, direct, and score a Hollywood film, told an interviewer in 1999, "I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs. I knew at that point I had to have a camera."

Praise for A Choice of Weapons

"A perceptive narrative of one man's struggle to realize the values (defined as democratic and especially American) he has been taught to respect." --New York Times Book Review

"A lean, well-written memoir."--Time

Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures
Clementine Churchill
A Life in Pictures
Hardcover      ISBN: 178131909x

Foreword by Harriet Walter.

Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures is a fully illustrated and abridged edition of Sonia Purnell's acclaimed biography, First Lady, including over 100 stunning and rarely seen photographs.

Without Winston Churchill's inspiring leadership Britain could not have survived its darkest hour. Without his wife Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister. By his own admission, his role in the Second World War would have been impossible but for 'Clemmie'. That Clementine should have become Britain's First Lady was by no means preordained. She may have been born an aristocrat but her childhood was far from gilded. Deprived of affection, a secure home and sometimes even food on the table, by the time she entered high society she had become the target of cruel snobbery. Yet in Winston she discovered a partner as emotionally insecure as herself; and in his career she found her mission. Theirs was a marriage that was to change the course of history.

Clementine gave Winston confidence, conviction and counsel. Not only was she involved in some of the most crucial decisions of the war, she also exerted an influence over her husband and his governments that might be judged scandalous today. Her ability to manage this exceptional man, and to charm Britain's allies, earned her the deep respect of world leaders, ministers, generals and critics alike. While her tireless work to alleviate suffering on the Home Front and abroad made her a champion to many in the population at large.

From the personal and political upheavals of the Great War, through the Churchills' 'wilderness years' in the 1930s, to Clementine's desperate efforts to sustain Winston during the struggle against Hitler, Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures continues to uncover the memory of one of the most remarkable women of modern times.

Cruel Optimism
Cruel Optimism
Paperback      ISBN: 0822351110

A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life-with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy-despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives "add up to something."

Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory-with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary-is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer
Diane Arbus
Portrait of a Photographer
Paperback      ISBN: 0062234331

The definitive biography of the beguiling Diane Arbus, one of the most influential and important photographers of the twentieth century, a brilliant and absorbing exposition that links the extraordinary arc of her life to her iconic photographs.

Diane Arbus brings to life the full story of one of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century, a visionary who revolutionized photography and altered the course of contemporary art with her striking, now iconic images. Arbus comes startlingly to life on these pages, a strong-minded child of unnerving originality who grew into a formidable artist and forged an intimacy with her subjects that has inspired generations of artists. Arresting, unsettling, and poignant, her photographs stick in our minds. Why did these people fascinate her? And what was it about her that captivated them?

It is impossible to understand the transfixing power of Arbus's photographs without understanding her life story. Arthur Lubow draws on exclusive interviews with Arbus's friends, lovers, and colleagues, on previously unknown letters, and on his own profound critical understanding of photography, to explore Arbus's unique perspective. He deftly traces Arbus's development from a wealthy, sexually precocious free spirit into first a successful New York fashion photographer, and then a singular artist who coaxed hidden truths from her subjects. Lubow reveals that Arbus's profound need not only to see her subjects but to be seen by them drove her to forge unusually close bonds with these people, helping her discover the fantasies, pain, and heroism within each of them.

Diane Arbus is the definitive biography of this unique, hugely influential artist. This magnificently absorbing, sensitive treatment of a singular personality brushes aside the clich s that have long surrounded Arbus and her work to capture a brilliant portrait of this seminal artist whose work has immeasurably shaped art and modern culture.

Lubow's Diane Arbus finally does justice to Arbus, and brings to life the story and art of one of the greatest American artists in history.

Diane Arbus includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer
Diane Arbus
Portrait of a Photographer
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062234323

The definitive biography of the beguiling Diane Arbus, one of the most influential and important photographers of the twentieth century, a brilliant and absorbing exposition that links the extraordinary arc of her life to her iconic photographs

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer brings into focus with vividness and immediacy one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. Arbus comes startlingly to life on these pages, a strong-minded child of disconcerting originality who grew into a formidable photographer of unflinching courage. Arbus forged an intimacy with her subjects that has inspired generations of artists. Arresting, unsettling, and poignant, her photographs stick in our minds. Why did these people fascinate her? And what was it about her that captivated them?

It is impossible to understand the transfixing power of Arbus's photographs without exploring her life. Lubow draws on exclusive interviews with Arbus's friends, lovers, and colleagues; on previously unknown letters; and on his own profound critical insights into photography to explore Arbus's unique perspective and to reveal important aspects of her life that were previously unknown or unsubstantiated. He deftly traces Arbus's development from a wealthy, sexually precocious free spirit into first, a successful New York fashion photographer and then, a singular artist who coaxed secrets from her subjects. Lubow reveals that Arbus's profound need not only to see her subjects but to be seen by them drove her to forge unusually close bonds with these people, helping her discover the fantasies, pain, and heroism within each of them, and leading her to create a new kind of photographic portraiture charged with an unnerving complicity between the subject and the viewer.

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer brushes aside the clich s that have long surrounded Arbus and her work. It is a magnificently absorbing biography of this unique, hugely influential artist.