His eclectic eye focused on the fascination of Africa in the 1920s, the tragic fate of the Spanish Republicans, the Liberation of Paris, the weariness of Gandhi a few hours before his assassination, and the victory of the Chinese communists. Cartier-Bresson was always on the spot, the great opportunist, seizing life’s historic events as they happened. He was also assistant to Jean Renoir on three major films. He was an artist who wanted to be an artisan, and he was one of the founders of Magnum, the most famous of all photographers’ agencies. It was he who fixed forever in our minds the features of famous contemporaries: Mauriac mysteriously levitating, Giacometti and Sartre as characters from their own works, Faulkner, Camus and countless others, their portraits captured for eternity at the decisive moment. An intensely private individual, Cartier-Bresson nonetheless took Pierre Assouline into his confidence over a number of years, discussing such subjects as his youthful devotion to surrealism, his lifelong passion for drawing, his experience of war and the prison camps, his friends and the women in his life. He even opened up his invaluable archives. This sensitive biography is the result of the meeting of two minds.