PRINT November 1981


Nicaragua, Falkland Road, and Rajasthan

WHILE IT CONVEYS INTIMATE DETAILS of a revolution, and therefore of a historical event, Susan Meiselas’ Nicaragua should not be treated as any kind of historical analysis. The book has been criticized for deciphering less about an event or a situation than a 60-second television news report, but this is fatuous. Whatever a book of still photos can tell its readers and viewers is clearly not of the same order of experience as a television broadcast. While such a book does not attempt to fill in the gaps between occurrences, it does impart their flavor and mood. If it doesn’t furnish corporate and predigested causes and effects, it does offer consultable images—all the more provocative since viewers are challenged to interpret them. More loosely edited and richly various than any spot news account, these books, as they buildup, establish the social and emotional texture of a locale, which

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