In American Photography, Jonathan Green has set out to describe what has happened in the last half-century among photographers and the publications and institutions with which they are involved. This first general account of the period is much more substantial than its showy, chaotic layout might suggest. Green has, I think, gotten the emphasis right: if the photographers he talks about seem at times overshadowed by all the other things—the magazines, museums, and ideas—this is probably a fair picture of a period during which photography has been accepted, generally, as creative art, though photographers have not created all that much of major consequence.

The chapters of American Photography move rather quickly. One passes through the “Family of Man” show, Minor White and Aperture, Robert Frank and the Beats,


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