Rec/Review: From the Front (book)

Posted: May 14, 2009 in Book Reviews, War
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from-the-frontThis is an absolutely excellent photo book: From the Front: The Story of War by Michael S. Sweeney (Featuring Correspondents’ Chronicles)

It is an amazing photographic account of the wars since the age of photography. Truly harrowing images, very well-known ones (such as the naked girl, running and screaming, burnt by Napalm) and others I had never seen before. First hand accounts of correspondents and images of soldiers, civilians, death and destruction, with such an emotional impact, everyone should read this book and look at the many images. The chapters are titled:

  • War is News
  • “Splendid Little Wars”
  • Total War
  • World War II
  • Cold War to Vietnam
  • War in Time of Peace

You will find photos from as far back as the American Civil war (and some incredible images are amongst them) and up to 9/11.

I really cannot recommend this book enough. For anyone with an interest in photography, war correspondents, or just humans, this is an amazing find. It is also beautifully laid out, interspersed with quotes.

Let me close with a quote from the book that is in the introduction:

Let him who wishes to know what war is look at this series of illustrations. It is so nearly like visiting the battlefield to look over these views that all the emotions excited by the actual sight of the stained and sordid scene, stewed with rags and wrecks, come back to us, and we buried them in the recesses of our cabinet as we would have buried the mutilated remains of the dead they too vividly represented. The sight of these pictures is a commentary on civilization such as the savage might well triumph to show its missionaries.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes
after viewing “The Dead of Antiem” at Mathew Brady’s New York studio in September 1862

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