From the Introduction
"Applied as a modus operandi, any intention to demystify or debunk through a rebuttal of idées reçues--conventional wisdom--often emerges directly from everyday life: anthropological field research made on a tram; in a cafe; at an art exhibition; lazing on a mountainside smoking a joint ('My First Impressions of Hashish'); or, as here, whilst perusing a selection of recently published photo-books."
"Benjamin's essay was first published in German in three consecutive weekly instalments in the arts-to-politics magazine Literarische Welt, in the Fall of 1931, where it appears as 'Kleine Geschichte der Photographie.' Notwithstanding its appearance in the context of a journalistic, features-led current affairs title, Benjaimin's essay is, I claim--I am bold, but I cannot imagine I am alone in this conclusion--the single most significant essay in the quite slim canon of indispensable photo theory texts: there is no later scholar of photo who has not been influenced by it."
"Benjamin's deliberately unassuming 'little' history can and should be opposed to all the grand reference tomes on photography that are packed with so much ('includes more than 3,000 color and black-and-white images,' etc.), but which are ultimately only unwieldy and tedious."