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Private Pictures: Soldiers' Inside View of War Paperback – 30 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848854439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848854437
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 884,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Through her compelling, well-researched stories that span the wars of the past hundred years, Janina Struk has given us a thought provoking perspective on soldiers' wartime pictures that shows that professional photography has fallen short of giving a complete picture of war - an original groundbreaking work and a good read.' --Andy McNab

About the Author

Janina Struk is a freelance documentary photographer, writer and lecturer. She is the author of the acclaimed book, Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the Evidence (I.B.Tauris, 2004) which presents a history and critique of images taken during the Holocaust, 1939-1945.

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If you have ever looked at pictures in history books showing the Holocaust or images of the Second World War on the Eastern Front and wondered about the photographer who took the images and why and how when logic suggests that private cameras would be banned from combat areas then this book will be of interest.

Ranging from the infamous American Abu Ghraib prison photographs to the soldier portraits (khaki portraits) sent back to family and loved ones, through the private photo albums of the Second World War (many now being sold on internet auction sites) back to the faked Daily Mirror pictures meant to show ill treatment of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers and then to Israeli Defence Forces in the Occupied Territories, this book sets out to answer a multitude of questions about why servicemen and women take, swap and keep photographs - particularly of atrocities and enemy dead - often for years without looking at them.

The emphasis is on the motives of the 'ordinary' soldier - the person who is a professional soldier first and an amateur photographer second. Professional photographers are very much on the sidelines.

By using interviews and her own extensive investigations of archived material and recent exhibitions, the author (an accomplished documentary photographer and lecturer) finds many answers.

As would be expected these answers are many and varied and at times even owe something to being encouraged by government and the media in an effort to get away from what at various times is seen as the 'composed' (or contrived) mainstream press photograph to a more 'real' and 'raw' image stripped of its artfulness.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Colin Pantall on 5 Feb. 2014
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This is a great book on how photography has shaped our perceptions of war. It's interesting and it is informative.
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