From Library Journal
This survey of Smith's work is a particularly fine one, in terms of the reproduction quality, choice, and layout of images. The juxtaposition of picture groups seems to parallel the emotional upheavals and periods of calm in his life: World War II, rural America, Ku Klux Klan, Spain and Africa (Albert Schweitzer), the mammoth Pittsburgh project, gentle views from his Manhattan window, jazz artists, an unpublished Haiti essay, Japan (Minamata). The pictures (accompanied by lengthy quotations from Smith) speak eloquently of his vision, mission, and craftsmanship. Unfortunately, Maddow's essay adds far more than we need to know about Smith's personal relationships, by way of a tiresome pastiche taken from the thousands of documents at the Center for Creative Photography. (Maddow performed this same service in Edward Weston: fifty years ). The accompanying bibliography of photo essays and writings by and about Smith is very useful. Kathleen Collins, Library of Congress
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"In Eugene Smith's work the world found an important aspect of America-- its longstanding moral passion. He hungered after that conclusive, suggestive moment of visual truth; he sought through pictures a précis of one then another aspect of our humanity. And he succeeded in that search-- giving us in sum a broad and deep rendering of this life's thickly textured particulars. We are much indebted to him."--Robert Coles, author of Dorothea Lange: Photographs of a Lifetime
"Gene Smith is reviewed today as a shining knight of light. He explored photography's power to project human drama and emotion. He succeeded in raising our level of conscience and he himself perished too soon, paying the price."--Cornell Capa, Director, International Center of Photography
"Gene Smith was perhaps the photographer who tried most heroically to make the magazine photo story lead the standards of coherence, intensity, and personal accountability that one expects of a work of art."--John Szarkowski, Director, Department of Photography, Museum of Modern Art