Sontag: Her Life by Benjamin Moser review heavyweight study of a critical colossus

Susan Sontags rise from gawky swot to opinion leader is incisively charted Art, Susan Sontag declared in 1965, is the supreme game which the will plays with itself. Sontag, supremely wilful, played the game with herself: she began as a critic of art, but turned into what she called an art object endowed with this quality of assurance, authority that she viewed as the barbed, bristling armature of style. At first, what mattered was the sparky contents of Sontags head; by the end she was best known for the way she wore her hair that saturnine battle helmet of dyed black, with a single stripe left white at the temple like a Frankensteinian lighting bolt of intellect. As much as …

Annie Leibovitz on the shots that made her

She captured Americas most tumultuous moments and its biggest stars. The great photographer relives her Rolling Stone years and the time she set fire to Patti Smith AHenri Cartier-Bresson, once stood to take his own ghostly grey picture of the Seine crossing. Leibovitzs homage to the great French photographer did not stop there. Her latest exhibition President Nixons inglorious departure from the White House by helicopter in 1974, to the extraordinary Democratic convention two years before, in which sessions lasted until sunrise. The landmark event, which took place in Miami, was the basis for Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72, the political classic by Rolling Stones resident gonzo journalist Andy Warhol to Ansel Adams to that ambush shot …