Is, I fell, the most important photo book of the 20th century, of supreme interest to photojournalist or documentary, photographers and for the history of photography in general. Unfortunately, it is ou-of-print & even the most raggedy sell to collectors for a minimum $500.
Although many or most of the book’s 126 images have been reprinted individually & in other compilations of Besson’s work. The Decisive Moment collection itself is unique in providing an international portrait or impression of humanity during the two decades prior to its publication in 1952. The arrangement & juxtapositions of the images have never been repeated, like the unique sequencing of songs in a classic album. The Decisive Moment is the Sgt Pepper of photo books.
Cartier-Bresson wrote in his introduction: “I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of unrolling itself before my eyes.”