The Way-Out Way of Life, 1962

In fall 1962, California surpassed New York in population to become the most populous state in the United States. The Look magazine commemorated this in the special issue focused on the state.

The New China by Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1959

In 1958, LIFE asked Henri Cartier-Bresson to return to China, a country he last covered in at the outbreak of the Communist takeover in 1949. Cartier-Bresson was largely sympathetic to the Communist cause and was mostly embedded on a guided tour. While his photographs do not present a critique of Communism, he nonetheless witnessed the beginnings of the disastrous Great Leap Forward.

Penal Colony at Perm by Jane Evelyn Atwood, 1992

In the 1990s, Jane Evelyn Atwood visited over 40 prisons in twelve countries across Europe and the United States over a period of one decade to document female incarceration. She managed to get access into some of the world’s worst jails, including death row.

The Soviet Mafia by Hans-Jürgen Burkard

Organized crime had been rampant in the dying Soviet Union for years, fueled by economic shortages and corruption. Around the time Burkard was documenting the Soviet mafia, there were up to 5,000 gangs plundering the state, and every 22 minutes a person was murdered.

Vietnam Heroico by Roberto Salas, 1967

In 1967, Roberto Salas working for the Cuban state organ, Revolución, spent several weeks in Vietnam to produce a special report for a magazine in Cuba.

Fall of Mussolini – Picture Post, 1943

No publication was happier about Il Duce’s fall from power than Picture Post. Its August 14, 1943 issue recapped the rule of Mussolini and labelled the titular “condemned man” as a gangster, agitator, revolutionary, and dictator.

The Sioux by John Vachon, 1955

John Vachon, a taciturn, brooding, hard-drinking photographer, traveled around America and around the world for nearly forty years taking photos first for Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later for LOOK magazine.