On Photography

Susan Sontag




Trade Paperback

224 Pages



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Winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Criticism

One of the most acclaimed works of its kind, On Photography first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as "a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs." The book begins with Sontag's famous "In Plato's Cave" essay, then presents five other prose meditations on this topic, and concludes with a richly far-reaching "Brief Anthology of Quotations."


Praise for On Photography

"A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years."—The Washington Post Book World

"Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way."—The New York Times Book Review

"Sontag has written a book of great importance and originality . . . All future discussion or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies is now bound to begin with her book."—John Berger

"Not many photographs are worth a thousand of [Susan Sontag's] words."—Robert Hughes, Time

"After Sontag, photography must be written about not only as a force in the arts, but as one that is increasingly powerful in the nature and destiny of our global society."—Newsweek

"On Photography is to my mind the most original and illuminating study of the subject."—Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker



Read an Excerpt

On Photography

In Plato's Cave
Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth. But being educated by photographs is not like being educated by older,...

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  • Susan Sontag

  • Susan Sontag was the author of numerous works of non-fiction, including the groundbreaking collection of essays Against Interpretation, and of four novels, including In America, which won the National Book Award.

  • Susan Sontag Mikhail Lemkhin