MacArthur Genius Grant winner Lynsey Addario's relentless pursuit of complex truths drive this heart-pounding and inspirational memoir of a photographer's life.
Lynsey Addario is just finding her way as a young photographer when the events of September 11, 2001, change the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she will often find herself making--not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself.
Addario finds in photography a way to travel with a purpose, and It's What I Do is the story of that singular calling--how it shapes and drives her life and how it changes the lives of others. She captures virtually every major theater of war of the twenty-first century and from it creates a historical document of truth on the international conflicts that have made and remade our world. She photographs the Afghan people before and after Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, and the burned villages and the countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting inside story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.
As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys' club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and profession, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother she gains an even more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life.
Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society.
It's What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines--it is witness to the human cost of war.
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A thrill ride from the beginning until the end!
I felt like I was right there with her, I was so caught up in the book that I didn't mind my commute home. I was also listening while running and ended up running much further than planned because I had to hear what was going to happen next. As a photojournalist Lynsey chased the story, and reported what she saw regardless of how she thought things should be. In other words she sought the truth and dug deeper below the surface, and didn't just take pictures portraying her preconceived idea. I doubt many people would do what she did. I kept finding myself thinking "who does this", then I remember that our troops go in to these dangerous places every day. I'm glad that people like Lynsey are there to document their story and to immortalize those who gave their life fighting for freedom.
When Lynsey was reunited with her husband after being captured in Libya, I cried. I was so relieved for her!
I highly recommend this book. If you have ever wondered what journalists are doing in war zones, this book answers those questions and it provides more insight in to what they go through as a result. It also tells more of a personal story of our soldiers who risk their lives in the name of freedom but also how it impacts the civilians in war torn nations. Her visual language is so incredible I almost heard the bombs go off. Outstanding work!