Modern history has been defined by photographs; the most famous images are familiar to many, and each is surely worth more than a thousand words.
Thomson has drawn together a collection of 27 photographic images that span the years from 1844—a self-portrait of photography inventor Louis Daguerre—to three images from 2011, including the formal portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding party. A few other evocative photographs include Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange; Afghan Girl, of a solemn, green-eyed Afghani teen in a red head scarf; Marilyn Diptych, Andy Warhol’s often reproduced multiple image of Marilyn Monroe; and Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper, the famous photo by Charles C. Ebbets of Depression-era construction workers fearlessly eating their lunches on a metal beam high above New York City. Missing from the collection is the tragically iconic photo called Napalm Girl; in its place is the less well-known but nonetheless moving Life Magazine image of a 3-year-old victim of the 1940 London Blitz. Each photo is accompanied by a page of text that provides the history of the image, its significance, a brief biography of the photographer and a few “Photo Thoughts”—questions to consider. The images are all intriguing and do much to capture the scope and cultural importance of photography as an art form as well as a documentary medium.
A fine resource and excellent for even a casual perusal. (Nonfiction. 10-18)