American Photojournalism: Motivations and Meanings
Photojournalism has long been the medium of urgency and social change. It has profoundly affected American public opinion, going back at least to Mathew Brady's images from the Civil War. In American Photojournalism: Motivations and Meanings, Claude Cookman explores the history and future of the medium through the work of such exemplary photojournalists as Jacob Riis, Dorothea Lange, Weegee, Margaret Bourke-White, W. Eugene Smith, Gordon Parks, Rich Clarkson, and Carol Guzy, among others. The traditional approach to studying American photojournalism explains the what and who of photojournalism--what events and developments occurred, what notable images were taken, and who took them. Without neglecting these concerns, American Photojournalism emphasizes the why. Cookman argues convincingly that contemporary photojournalism is grounded in the desire to witness and record history, and the embrace of a universal humanism. Unafraid to engage questions of truth and intentionality, American Photojournalism will only become more relevant as the medium evolves.