John Berger
Penguin, New York, 1990; originally published 1972, English
Nonfiction, Art and Cultural History
7.8 x 5 inches, paperback, 176 pages
ISBN: 9780140135152
Suggested Retail Price: $15.00

Seven essays that examine the relationship between what we see and what we know, based on a 1972 BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: “By concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he [Berger] will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.”


On 7 book lists
Mark Fox

This slim but dense book explores the relationship between art, advertising, desire, and capitalism. One of my favorite passages exposes the sociopolitical dimension of advertising, using the British term publicity: “Publicity turns consumption into a substitute for democracy. The choice of what one eats (or wears or drives) takes the place of significant political choice.” A seminal work.

Milton Glaser

Berger is incapable of writing without astonishing you.

Alexa Hampton

I read this book as a freshman at Brown University and it introduced me to a new way of looking at images. It’s an interesting text.

Angus Hyland

Provides what its cover says.

Ian Ritchie

I saw a couple of the BBC programs that were delivered by John Berger and was astonished at his insights and lucidity. I have since read many of his books, the latest being Railtracks—a wonderful poetic conversation and photographic adventure.

Véronique Vienne
. . . Influenced by Walter Benjamin‘s seminal essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, [Ways of Seeing] attempts to expose a conspiracy that has kept the work of artists, and the ideologies their images promote, out of the political discourse. Adapted from a four-part BBC television series, it is a direct transcription of Berger’s script, and it reads as such, as a series of declarative sentences and short emphatic statements. A British painter as well as a novelist, a poet, and art critic, Berger speaks confidently about topics that are familiar to him. His point of view is always based on experience—on what it feels like to paint, observe, touch, watch, look, see, and be seen. . . . View the complete text
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