Photographer Biographies
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

Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life
Clover Adams
A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life
Hardcover      ISBN: 0618873856

The hidden story of one of the most fascinating women of the Gilded Age

Clover Adams, a fiercely intelligent Boston Brahmin, married at twenty-eight the soon-to-be-eminent American historian Henry Adams. She thrived in her role as an intimate of power brokers in Gilded Age Washington, where she was admired for her wit and taste by such luminaries as Henry James, H. H. Richardson, and General William Tecumseh Sherman. Clover so clearly possessed, as one friend wrote, "all she wanted, all this world could give."

Yet at the center of her story is a haunting mystery. Why did Clover, having begun in the spring of 1883 to capture her world vividly through photography, end her life less than three years later by drinking a chemical developer she used in the darkroom? The key to the mystery lies, as Natalie Dykstra's searching account makes clear, in Clover's photographs themselves.

The aftermath of Clover's death is equally compelling. Dykstra probes Clover's enduring reputation as a woman betrayed. And, most movingly, she untangles the complex, poignant -- and universal -- truths of her shining and impossible marriage.

www.nataliedykstra.com

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: A Biography
Diane Arbus
A Biography
Paperback      ISBN: 0393326616

Diane Arbus's unsettling photographs of dwarves and twins, transvestites and giants, both polarized and inspired, and her work had already become legendary when she committed suicide in 1971. This groundbreaking biography examines the private life behind Arbus's controversial art. The book deals with Arbus's pampered Manhattan childhood, her passionate marriage to Allan Arbus, their work together as fashion photographers, the emotional upheaval surrounding the end of their marriage, and the radical, liberating, and ultimately tragic turn Arbus's art took during the 1960s when she was so richly productive. This edition includes a new afterword by Patricia Bosworth that covers the phenomenon of Arbus since her death, the latest Arbus scholarship, and a view of the first major retrospective of Arbus's work as well as notes on the forthcoming motion picture based on her story. Bosworth's engrossing book is a portrait of a woman who drastically altered our sense of what is permissible in photography.

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.

The Dirty Dust / Cré Na Cille
The Dirty Dust / Cré Na Cille
Hardcover      ISBN: 0300198493

Now available in paperback, the original English-language translation of O Cadhain s raucous masterpiece
Mairtin O Cadhain s irresistible and infamous novel "The Dirty Dust" is consistently ranked as the most important prose work in modern Irish, yet no translation for English-language readers has ever before been published. Alan Titley s vigorous new translation, full of the brio and guts of O Cadhain s original, at last brings the pleasures of this great satiric novel to the far wider audience it deserves.
In "The Dirty Dust" all characters lie dead in their graves. This, however, does not impair their banter or their appetite for news of aboveground happenings from the recently arrived. Told entirely in dialogue, O Cadhain s daring novel listens in on the gossip, rumors, backbiting, complaining, and obsessing of the local community. In the afterlife, it seems, the same old life goes on beneath the sod. Only nothing can be done about it apart from talk. In this merciless yet comical portrayal of a closely bound community, O Cadhain remains keenly attuned to the absurdity of human behavior, the lilt of Irish gab, and the nasty, deceptive magic of human connection."

Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits
Dorothea Lange
A Life Beyond Limits
Paperback      ISBN: 039333905x

We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos the Migrant Mother holding her child, the shoeless children of the Dust Bowl but now renowned American historian Linda Gordon brings them to three-dimensional life in this groundbreaking exploration of Lange's transformation into a documentarist. Using Lange's life to anchor a moving social history of twentieth-century America, Gordon masterfully re-creates bohemian San Francisco, the Depression, and the Japanese-American internment camps. Accompanied by more than one hundred images many of them previously unseen and some formerly suppressed Gordon has written a sparkling, fast-moving story that testifies to her status as one of the most gifted historians of our time. Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; a New York Times Notable Book; New Yorker's A Year's Reading; and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book."

Edward Steichen: In High Fashion: The Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937
Edward Steichen: In High Fashion
The Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393066770

Edward Steichen was already a famous painter and photographer in America and abroad when, in early 1923, he was offered the most prestigious position in photography's commercial domain: that of chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair.Over the next fifteen years, Steichen would produce a body of work of unequaled brilliance, dramatizing and glamorizing contemporary culture and its achievers in politics, literature, film, sport, dance, theater, opera, and the world of high fashion. Here are iconic images of Gloria Swanson, Gary Cooper, Greta Garbo, and Charlie Chaplin as well as numerous other celebrities drawn from an archive of more than two thousand original prints. Until now, no more than a handful have been exhibited or published in book form. The photographs of the 1920s and 1930s represent the high point in Steichen's career and are among the most striking creations of twentieth-century photography.