If Alfred Eisenstaedt—for several decades one of the most prominent and well-known photographers in the world, and originally the quintessential Leica photographer (a position he seems to have lost in more recent times)—is getting far enough removed in history that he's less than comfortably familiar to you, you might want to seek out a copy of Witness to Our Time, first published in 1966 by Viking Press, reissued 1980*. It features a foreword by no less than Henry Luce, and is about as deluxe a production as mainstream photography books got in '66: gravure black-and-white printing, color plates generously interspersed. It's not easy to find anymore, exactly, but it's not hard to find either: they printed scads of them at the time, so it's quite possible you could still run across a copy in a garden-variety used book store. Many libraries will still have copies. It's almost quaint, but this was considered a big "coffee-table" book at the time. In the '80s, more or less, books this size became more the rule than the exception, and "big" books now have to be much bigger.
It's still a pleasure to look through. If you're not up to a search for the 1966 gold standard, check out a much more modest but somehow equally pleasing book called Remembrances from Little, Brown's Bulfinch imprint that came out a dozen years ago or so. Although not remotely a special, fancy, or arty book, Remembrances has very solid reproduction quality (it has a less cropped version of the V-J sailor's kiss than Witness), is very much a pleasure to peruse, and can serve as an ideal introduction to the wonderful Eisie.
*I haven't seen the reissue, so no thoughts about its adequacy.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.