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Photojournalists on war, Michael Kamber cover HR

MAY 2013

The photojournalists who documented the war in Iraq faced a new kind of urban warfare. To the roadside bombs, snipers, and Katyusha rockets, Iraq added assassins, kidnappers and deadly street mobs; each photographer soon became as much target as observer. Tellingly, more photojournalists were killed in Iraq than in any other modern conflict; hundreds were abducted and wounded, or narrowly escaped death. Despite the great personal risks, some stayed and worked amidst increasingly brutal conditions as the war escalated from « shock and awe » invasion, to occupation, to insurgency, to civil war. With visceral, previously unpublished photographs and eyewitness accounts by an incredibly diverse group of the world’s top news photographers, Photojournalists on War (University of Texas Press, May 2013)presents a groundbreaking new visual and oral history of America’s nine-year conflict in the Middle East.

Michael Kamber, a writer and photojournalist for over 25 years, who covered the Iraq War for theNew York Times between 2003 and 2012, interviewed thirty-nine colleagues for the book, many of them from leading news organizations including Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, theGuardian, the Los Angeles Times, Magnum, Newsweek, the New York TimesParis Match, Reuters,Time, the Times of London, VII Photo Agency, and the Washington Post.

The in-depth interviews presented in Photojournalists on War offer candid and honest first-person, frontline reports of the war as it unfolded, including key moments such as the battle for Fallujah, the toppling of Saddam’s statue, and the Haditha massacre. The photographers vividly describe the often shocking and sometimes heroic actions they and other journalists undertook in trying to cover the war, and the role of the media and issues of censorship that changed as the war intensified. This book also includes accounts by photographers who photographed the war at home, documenting the conflict from the perspective of families of servicemen and women whose lives were changed forever.

© Christoph Bangert

© Ben Brody

The hard-hitting accounts of these practitioners would be rare in the annals of any war, yet here they reveal the inside and untold stories behind the headlines in Iraq. Each interview is logged with the year and location it took place, and is accompanied by a selection of the photographer’s work made on and off the battlefield. The book includes meticulous details, including a timeline of the war in Iraq, maps showing the key locations of the conflict, biographies on the contributing photographers, a glossary of war terms, and even a copy of the news media ground rules that photographers had to sign in order to embed with the American military.

Photojournalists on War is the closest we have come on the written page to the experience of modern warfare. This powerful volume is a necessary addition to the libraries of those interested in photography, photojournalism, and the history of modern warfare, humanism, media studies, and censorship.

Michael Kamber, Bronx, New York, covered the war in Iraq as a writer and photographer for theNew York Times between 2003 and 2012. Kamber was the Times’s principal photographer in Baghdad in 2007, the bloodiest year of the war. He is the recipient of a World Press Photo, and many other awards.

© Marco Di Lauro


© Rita Leistner

The Photographers in Photojournalists on War are:

Lynsey Addario, Christoph Bangert, Patrick Baz, Nina Berman, Ben Brody, Andrea Bruce, Guy Calaf, Patrik Chauvel, Alan Chin, Carolyn Cole, Jerome Delay, Marco Di Lauro, Ashley Gilbertson, Stanley Greene, Todd Heisler, Tyler Hicks, Eros Hoagland, Chris Hondros, Ed Kashi, Karim Ben Khelifa, Wathiq Khuzaie, Gary Knight, Yuri Kozyrev, Rita Leistner, Benjamin Lowy, Zoriah Miller, Khalid Mohammed, John Moore, Peter Nicholls, Farah Nosh, Gilles Peress, Scott Peterson, Lucian Read, Eugene Richards, Ahmad Al-Rubaye, João Silva, Stephanie Sinclair, Bruno Stevens, Peter van Agtmael.

US Release Date: May 15, 2013
$65.00 hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-292-74408-0
10 x 12 inches, 288 pages, 166 color and b&w photos

© Bruno Stevens

Photo Captions:

Tal Afar June 2005  Suspected insurgents are detained inside a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to be transported to a detention facility during an early-morning raid. Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi Soldiers moved into Tal Afar with Bradleys, tanks, and Humvees. Helicopters provided air support as the soldiers searched houses and detained suspects. Christoph Bangert

Ubaydi December 29, 2007  Capt. George Morris, commander of B Company, a 2-502 Infantry, and his soldiers hit the ground running in the opening salvo of Operation « Patriot Strike. » The soldiers detained ten suspected al-Qaeda conspirators and seized weapons and bomb-making supplies. Ben Brody

Al Musayyib May 27, 2003  An Iraqi child jumps over the remains of victims found in a mass grave south of Baghdad. The bodies had been brought to this school for identification by family members who searched for identity cards and other clues among the skeletons to identify missing relatives. The victims were killed by Saddam Hussein’s government following a Shi’ite uprising here following the 1991 Gulf War. Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

Balad July 16, 2003  An Iraqi suspect in an early morning roadside attack on an American convoy is « bagged and tied » by American soldiers. He lies waiting on the lawn of a neighbor’s house while the soldiers discuss their next move. Rita Leistner

Baghdad February 12, 2003  Six weeks before the start of the war, a man sits drinking tea at the Al Zahawi cafe on Rashid Street. Cafes are a trademark of this ancient city, gathering places where men play dominos, blackjack, and socialize.  Bruno Stevens

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