It is a pleasure to see this book back in print, originally published in 1970. With photographic book reprints, I am often disappointed with the poor quality of reproduction. However the halftones, done by Richard Benson, are superb. As a bonus, or a drawback as some might argue, is an essay by John Szarkowski. This essay at the end of the book, attempts to match Friedlander's photographic wit. He makes such statements as "If he was not Lee friedlander, he would not have been able to make these portraits." ?? Unfortunately, this essay does not attempt to elucidate on the photographs themselves but rather on the idea of artistic self-portraits and about the lengths Friedlander has gone to -- to avoid talking about his photographs. Szarkowski is at times amusing but is successful at keeping hidden the enigmas of Lee Friedlander.
The 1970 edition is one of the most difficult Friedlander book to find. Several years ago, I saw an out-of-print copy in fai! ! r condition, it cost $100 . At about 25 bucks, it is a classic and a bargain.