A friend of mine was an editor on a new book, essentially a memoir of a photographer’s experiences in Afghanistan during the Soviet war there. It’s a cross between a graphic novel and a photo journal. This book comes highly recommended by the New York times; I think the best thing they said about it is this:
It is impossible to know war if you do not stand with the mass of the powerless caught in its maw. All narratives of war told through the lens of the com batants carry with them the seduction of violence. But once you cross to the other side, to stand in fear with the helpless and the weak, you confront the moral depravity of industrial slaughter and the scourge that is war itself. Few books achieve this clarity. “The Photographer” is one.
This speaks to me of one of the sad truths of war that I have such trouble wrapping my mind around: how people can honestly sit back and say “sure, let’s just go kill some people” when confronted with a problem. I hope this book succeeds in communicating the foolishness of such an attitude to some people who currently suffer from it.