Six chapters in the history of American photography, with biographies of the following artists: Jules Lion, a Frenchman who was one of the first daguerreotypists in this country; Augustus Washington, a black intellectual who ran a photography salon in Hartford before emigrating to Liberia; James P. Ball, one of the most celebrated photographers of the latter half of the 19th century; the Saginaw-based Goodridge Brothers, who photographed historical events and landscapes as well as portraits; and two 20th-century black photographers of black subjects, Cornelius M. Battey, who was influenced by Stieglitz's idea of pictorialism and worked for The Crisis, and Addison Scurlock, who recorded the lives of the African-American community in Washington, D.C., during the first half of this century. Parallel histories coexist in this book, which is not only a step-by-step account of the evolution of photography, but six windows into African-American history during different decades and settings. Sullivan (Matthew Brady, 1994, etc.) adroitly moves between information on photographic technology and civil rights to create a riveting and unusual book filled with a wonderful collection of black-and-white lithographs, daguerreotypes, and photographs. An exceptional cultural history.