This book is a great reference source. It has a short section on many great photographers from William Henry Fox Talbot through to Joel Sternfield.
Presented in chronological order of the photographers’ active years, there’s a brief introduction to each photographer giving context to their work and their style. There are at least two images presented for each photographer with a brief analysis (‘reading’) of each photograph by the author. A final descriptive paragraph gives an insight into the photographer’s approach and main artistic bent.
First published in 2008, I’d have liked the book to have covered some more recent photographers, as the book has very little post 1970’s work. However, as a resource for summarising the history of great photographers and for pointing me in the direction of wanting to find out more about individual photographers, this book is very valuable.