The Press: Weegee

From a $17-a-month room across the street from police headquarters, Arthur Fellig keeps a peeping eye on crowded, raucous, uncaring Manhattan. An untidy little man with a bulging stomach and moist brown eyes, he sleeps in his clothes, spends most of his nights cruising about, photographing the city. Newspaper readers see his pictures over the credit line Weegee (phonetic for Ouija—because he plays hunches on news and pictures).

This week, 228 Weegee photographs and 9,000 Weegee words appear in a book, Naked City (Essential Books, $4), that O. Henry might have done if...