150 years of American photography come alive in this exciting new book, placing it in its cultural context for the first time. Orvell examines this fascinating subject through a wide range of well known and less-well known images. He ranges from portraiture and landscape photography, family albums and memory, and analyses the particularly 'American' way in which American photographers have viewed the world around them.
Orvell combines a clear overview of the changing nature of photographic thinking and practice in this period with an exploration of key concepts. The result is the first coherent history of American photography, which examines issues such as the nature of photographic exploitation, experimental techniques, the power of the photograph to shock, and whether we should subscribe to the notion of a visual history.