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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 was just finding her way as a young photographer when the events of September 11, 2001, changed 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 would 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 She captures virtually every major theater of war of the twenty-first century and from it creates a historical document of truth on the international conflicts that have made, and remade, our world.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, as well as 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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