13 March 2017

Eyes of the World; Marc Aronson

Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern PhotojournalismEyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Robert and Cornell Capa (along with their mother) are buried in my Meeting's cemetery, and I've been involved in creating some signage explaining who they were and why they're there. So a book about him and his contribution to our understanding of war? Yes, please. The Spanish Civil War is one of those "I think I understand it... but it's incredibly confusing" events, and this book does a decent job of explaining the various factions and what happened. For that, two stars.

However the book itself? So problematic. Starting with, why present tense? It's an odd choice for non-fiction about the past. The framing device of D-Day doesn't work well and could easily have been done without (although the part about Capa's post-Spanish Civil War career needed to be told). Some people, like Capa's mentor, are paid short shrift, while others are hinted at (there's a couple mentioned on page 180 that are never named, but there's a hint that these are Important People). And Appendix C, the one with the comparison to the Syrian Civil War? My head hurt. There were other things that were problems that might be changed by publication, like failing to credit the photos on each page (were they Capas? Taros? someone else?). I could go on, but then I'd need another drink.

ARC provided by publisher.

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