Cloth $32.00 ISBN: 9780226316062 Published June 2007
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226316123 Published May 2011

No Caption Needed

Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy

Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites

Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites

432 pages | 53 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2007
Cloth $32.00 ISBN: 9780226316062 Published June 2007
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226316123 Published May 2011

In No Caption Needed, Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites provide the definitive study of the iconic photograph as a dynamic form of public art. Their critical analyses of nine individual icons explore the photographs themselves and their subsequent circulation through an astonishing array of media, including stamps, posters, billboards, editorial cartoons, TV shows, Web pages, tattoos, and more. Iconic images are revealed as models of visual eloquence, signposts for collective memory, means of persuasion across the political spectrum, and a crucial resource for critical reflection.
Arguing against the conventional belief that visual images short-circuit rational deliberation and radical critique, Hariman and Lucaites make a bold case for the value of visual imagery in a liberal-democratic society. No Caption Needed is a compelling demonstration of photojournalism’s vital contribution to public life.

national Communication Association: Diamond Anniversary Book Award
Won

Kappa Tau Alpha: Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award
Won

Media Ecology Association: Susanne K. Langer Award
Won

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Peter Turnley, award-winning photojournalist
"Through outstanding studies of specific iconic images, Hariman and Lucaites address powerfully the emotional resonance and political complexity of photojournalism. They demonstrate how the collective response to photographs can reveal national and cultural character. Their discussion of these themes is a service and tribute to all those who care about visual communication. Photojournalists and citizens alike can learn a great deal from this terrific book."
Robin Lenman, general editor, The Oxford Companion to the Photograph

“This authoritative, thought-provoking book analyzes the genesis and reception of key American images from Dorothea Lange's 'Migrant Mother' to pictures of the Challenger disaster and 9/11. Drawing extensively on the recent scholarly literature, it demonstrates the pivotal position of the still photograph in modern visual culture. It will be essential reading for students of 20th-century photojournalism, propaganda and mass media. Highly recommended.”

W. J. T. Mitchell
“I was truly astounded by the intelligence of the analyses in No Caption Needed, and the authors’ refusal to either over- or underestimate the power of these iconic images. Beyond that, Hariman and Lucaites engage in a profound reflection on the role of iconic journalistic photographs in modern democratic societies, the way they become ideological totems, or provocatives to further controversy. This book will be the starting point for any future attempt to deal with the problem of the iconic photograph and its social uses.”--W. J. T. Mitchell, author of What Do Pictures Want?
Ashley Gilbertson, photojournalist and author of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
No Caption Needed is a fascinating study of why a photograph is successful and what happens to that image once it enters America's collective conscious as an icon. Hariman and Lucaites’s exhaustively researched book provides thoughtful insight into how some photographs have helped shape America's cultural identity, and explains how one image can be used by different parties to fulfill different agendas. I recommend this book to anybody interested in the history and development of visual culture in the United States.”
James Rosen | The American Interest

“A penetrating and provocative analysis. . . . The authors’ analytical achievement is enabled by an extraordinary feat of research and reporting.”--James Rosen, The American Interest

 

John Corner | European Journal of Cultural Studies
"An admirable study."
Michael Carlebach | Photography and Culture
"What especially distinguishes this work is the authors' discussion of the myriad ways iconographic photographs are used, transformed, and appropriated, thereby creating a dynamic rhetorical presence that continues to influence memory, thought, and behavior."
Bruce Bustard | Journal of American History
"Historians of photography will want to read No Caption Needed not only for its insightful examination of individual photographs but also for its sophisticated analysis of the role of photography in a democratic society."
Sylvia Cook | Studies in American Culture
"[The authors] make an eloquent and compelling case, in print, for the centrality of the photographic icon to American cultural debate."
Dorothy Barenscott | IVC
"[The book] provides a dynamic and much-needed contribution to debates concerning the value of visual representation and its relationship to implicit tensions within liberal democracy. The book arrives on the heels of current efforts within an expanding field of visual studies to push for full understanding of the technological and cultural (and not strictly textual) processes through which meanings are made for images."
Contents
CONTENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1
INTRODUCTION

2
PUBLIC CULTURE, ICONS, AND ICONOCLASTS

3
THE BORDERS OF THE GENRE
Migrant Mother and the Times Square Kiss

4
PERFORMING CIVIC IDENTITY
Flag Raisings at Iwo Jima and Ground Zero

5
DISSENT AND EMOTIONAL MANAGEMENT
Kent State

6
TRAUMA AND PUBLIC MEMORY
Accidental Napalm

7
LIBERAL REPRESENTATION AND GLOBAL ORDER
Tiananmen Square

8
RITUALIZING MODERNITY’S GAMBLE
The Hindenburg and Challenger Explosions

9
CONCLUSION
Visual Democracy

NOTES
INDEX
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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