In his own best-selling 1985 autobiography, Adams presented a life almost as neatly cropped and printed as his pictures, omitting nearly all of his personal relationships and many major emotional details. Here, Mary Street Alinder - who worked with Adams on that memoir and was his assistant in his later years - draws a much more revealing portrait. Her biography covers in depth his difficult childhood in San Francisco and the profound impact of the Yosemite Valley on the boy who would become its consummate artist, exploring the mixed consequences of that lifelong relationship. It examines Adams's connections to the photographers and painters who preceded him; the philosophic influences who were either recast or neglected in the memoir; the famous and not-so-famous figures in his circle, including Mary Austin, David Brower, Imogen Cunningham, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Dorothea Lange, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston; and his marriage, extramarital love affairs, and not altogether successful fatherhood. Alinder documents the success and turmoil behind his close relationship with the Sierra Club, his professional relationships with commercial clients and dealers, and how he became photography's first superstar - and a household name. She shares her intimate knowledge of his daily routine in his last years and of how Ansel Adams became a multimillion-dollar business that flourishes even after his death. An acknowledged expert on Adams's photographs, Alinder also examines his most important images and identifies the technique and style he developed to obtain his unique vision. One chapter is given over to a complete analysis of his most famous image, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.