American Photojournalism: Motivations and Meanings

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Northwestern University Press, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 322 pages
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.


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About the author (2009)

Claude Cookman is an associate professor of journalism at Indiana University, the winner of a shared Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, and the author of A Voice Is Born, a history of the National Press Photographers Association. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana. Richard B. Stolley is a senior editorial advisor of Time, Inc., the former managing editor of both Life and People magazines, the former editorial director of Time, Inc., and the author of Life: Our Century in Pictures for Young People. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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