The Americans, by Robert Frank

Why?

"All those pictures now, are still ingrained in my head. My consciousness. There's not a picture from there I wouldn't recognize. As with many other people." 
- Martin Parr, Photographer

 "It really opened up the world of documentaries for me. That in a way documentaries could have authorship, and could have subjectivity, and could have point of view, and could have commentary, and really because of perspective and the way the photographer saw it."
- Lauren Greenfield, Photographer

"Composition is everything. Just composing the photograph, seeing it instantly, and being ready to document on the fly—just being quick about documentation, which I'm sure Robert Frank was. You have to have that camera ready. We didn't have the cell phones and all that back in the day, but I think the rhythms of recognizing an image, that's what the masters, the older masters"
- Coreen Simpson, Photographer

"For any book to be published at all, that was that good, was wonderful, and it got the reviews it deserved, as far as I could tell."
- John Loengard, Photographer

"This transferred to the idea that even beyond photography, that there was a great story in anything if you looked at it with new eyes, if you looked at it differently. And you could write a story about oranges, which is what John McPhee did. You could take anything, and if you really started to examine it your way, you could have a great story like The Americans. So, that was what I got from that."
- Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired

"This collection of images offers a lesson in seeing, not only of individuals, but of a whole culture. The vision that emanated from this book led not only me, but my whole generation of photographers to go out into the American landscape."
- Joel Meyerowitz, Photographer