Recommended Books on the History of Photography
Gordon Baldwin and Martin Jurgens. Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms. Revised edition. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009. Paperback.
An excellent, well-illustrated reference for photographic techniques. Highly recommended for anyone interested in photography. Can be read by itself or in conjunction with any of the three history books listed below.
Graham Clarke. The Photograph. Oxford History of Art. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Paperback.
Examines photography through major themes: landscape, the city, the portrait, the body, documentary photography, etc. Discusses artistic and philosophical issues in a clear and accessible style.
Therese Mulligan and David Wooters, eds. A History of Photography from 1839 to the Present: The George Eastman House Collection. Köln: Taschen, 2005. Paperback.
A small-format book with very good text and hundreds of photographs from the world-famous collection of the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.
Martin W. Sandler. Photography: An Illustrated History. Oxford Illustrated Histories. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Hardcover.
Written for a young adult audience, but also a good, brief introduction for adults. Available in an inexpensive Kindle edition that includes the color illustrations.