Cartier-Bresson, Henri - The People of Moscow Rare! Héliogravures!
first edition 1955!
Simon and Schuster New York
In 1954, Henri Cartier-Bresson and his wife boarded a train to Moscow, visas and governmental permission in hand, and took a book's worth of photographs of ordinary Soviet people doing ordinary things. Cartier-Bresson notes in his foreword that the government never sought to censor his photographs; however, Cartier-Bresson, conscious of his position, doesn't seem to have made any major efforts to make waves, and, since neither he nor his wife spoke Russian, they were accompanied at all times by a government translator. Nonetheless, this is a valuable book. Alongside the expected-- Uzbeks waiting in line at Lenin's mausoleum, soldiers on Red Square, parades of girls in ethnic costumes, government officials-- there are little old ladies taking their grandchildren shopping, Red Army soldiers casually checking out teenaged girls, and a fabulous series of pictures showing people wandering around the Tretyakov Gallery and reacting to the artwork. Cartier-Bresson is a well-known photographer for a reason, and when he takes a look at a subject like this one, the result is a valuable historical document as well as a work of art.