W. Eugene Smith is the master of the photographic essay; he created essays which include some of the most dramatic and affecting single images of the twentieth century. Fiercely energetic, he made countless photographs memorable for their formal brilliance and for their compassion. This volume of Aperture's Masters of Photography presents more than 70 of Smith's greatest photographs, selected from work created over the course of 45 years. Smith's interests were broad; his work spanned subject matter from the process of birth to the horrors of death in action. Included here are photographs from Smith's most celebrated photo-essays, including Country Doctor, Spanish Village, Pittsburgh and Minamata, as well as examples of his World War II work and selections from the later, more introspective work made in his loft in New York City. In his introductory essay, Jim Hughes, Smith's biographer, provides an overview of Smith's life, and insight into his work.