This is a spectacular book, filled with historical references and superb photographs dating as far back as William Henry Fox Talbot's 1844 classic, "The Open Door" all the way up to David Hockney. Eamonn McCabe presents each photograph on a single page with a facing page describing the print type, and the composition description behind the image. There is also a small boxed biography of the photographer and a second box titled "recreating the effect" which explains how one would take similar shots today.
The book is split into 4 major sections containing 56 photographs covering the following themes: documentary photography; landscape and architecture; photography as art; and portrait photography. Finally, there is a short glossary of photographic processes.
I would consider this to be an essential book for any photographer, not just for the history and images but also as an idea catalyst. Highly recommended.