The Pulitzer Prize winners

You're a fly on the wall in Sudan, a blade of grass in Vietnam, water in a turbulent flood in California. "Moments," published by Black Dog & Leventhal ($29.95), chronicles history through Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs such as these.

Hal Buell pulls viewers into each of four sections by appealing to the most immediate sense - the visual. But he appeals to deeper interests, too, by presenting each photographer's commentary as the event unfolded.

The chronological photographs are broken up into sections: large format cameras and early Pulitzers; small cameras, Vietnam, and Civil Rights; the picture story; color, digital, women photographers, and Africa.

In the first and second sections, Buell chose "Labor Strife in Detroit" (1942), by Milton Brooks; "Vietnam Photo Coverage" (1965), by Horst Faas; and "Meredith Shot on Highway 51" (1967), by Jack Thornell.

These images are front-row seats to history. Also, the personal accounts portray the renegade nature of photojournalists and the restrictions of older cameras.

The Pulitzer-winning photo series demonstrate the power of images that weren't front-page news, such as "Birth" (1973), by Brian Lanker; and "Home on the Range" (1980), by Erwin Hagler.

The last section overflows to encompass a fast-paced world. "African Rite of Passage" (1996), by Stephanie Welsh; and "Terror Attack on the World Trade Center" (2002), by The New York Times staff, present images that force the viewer to look for strength within.

Buell's selections also reveal women's contributions to the field and the way technology has expanded to enhance photojournalism.

Rebecca Swiller works in the Monitor's photography department.

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