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Afghanistan: A Distant War Hardcover – October 16, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel USA (October 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791348655
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791348650
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Noted documentary photographer Robert Nickelsberg's photographs help bring into focus the day-to-day consequences of war, poverty, oppression, and political turmoil in Afghanistan. This remarkable volume of photographs is accompanied by insightful texts from experts on Afghanistan and the Taliban. The images themselves are captioned with places, dates, and Nickelsberg's own extensive commentary. Timely and important, the book serves as a reminder that Afghanistan and the rest of the world remain inextricably linked, no matter how much we long to distance ourselves from its painful realities.

About the Author

ROBERT NICKELSBERG has been a photographer for Time magazine for nearly thirty years. His work in Afghanistan has also appeared on The New York Times "Lens" blog and his images have appeared in Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, CNN, and NBC. His photographs have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography in New York City, and The New American Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scott Wallace on November 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Robert Nickelsberg has been traveling to Afghanistan since the late 1980s as a photojournalist to document the seemingly endless wars that have engulfed that fascinating and unfortunate country. This book presents a retrospective of Nickelsberg's extraordinary work in Afghanistan, from the final days of the Soviet occupation to the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda following 9/11. The book's final pages include images taken earlier this year of the U.S. drawdown in anticipation of next year's definitive pullout. As such, this definitive document captures in images a quarter century of Afghanistan's tumultuous history -- including the haunting portraits of commanders, warlords, drug smugglers, bomb makers, foot soldiers, as well as riveting shots of the ever-present and ever-suffering civilians. Through it all, Nickelsberg documents what he sees with an unwavering eye and exceptional courage. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in war photography, reportage, Afghanistan, current events and history. There will come a time when this book becomes scarce and hard to find. Now is the time to get one while you can. An indispensable addition to collections of photojournalism and libraries on Afghanistan and South Asia.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Simon on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Aesthetically, "Afghanistan: A Distant War," is nearly flawless. Nickelsberg's beautiful photographs; Prestel's elegant design and printing; and Jon Lee Anderson's dead-on Foreword (which should be subtitled "Afghanistan for Dummies") together create a model for war photography books in an era where bound books, especially expensive, large format photography books, are an endangered literary species. When one reads "Afghanistan" and sits staring at the double page, three-dimensional contrast of shadow and light and the rhythmic synergy of action shots against somber portraiture, it's possible to believe that print photography is not summarily doomed after all.

Nickelsberg understands the need for synchronicity of photographs and text. Not all photographers have the good sense to do so, since more than a few, along with editors and curators, believe that a photograph that somehow requires words to explain it must not be "art." It supposedly speaks for itself if it captures the "decisive moment" or, in the case of war photography, offers shock value, a bar that seems to get higher by the minute. "Afghanistan" contains a solid stable of riveting and even heart-stopping images, and there are too many good ones to list them in a book review: An Uzbek fighter firing on the enemy (p. 55); a wounded civilian in a pitched battle scene (p. 61); and Taliban soldiers attacking; the retreating Northern Alliance army (p. 83) are all testimony to Nickelsberg's mettle under extreme circumstances, and they squarely position him in photo critic Susie Linfield's pantheon of acclaimed war photographers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bouckaert on June 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If you buy just one book on Afghanistan, this is the one. Robert Nickelsberg brings a whole new meaning to the word commitment with this stunning photography book, covering decades of conflict and life in Afghanistan. His pictures are courageous, haunting, often beautiful, and always insightful. The essays accompanying the powerful images are just as good, written by leading commentators like the New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson. I have spent quite a bit of time in Afghanistan myself, but learned more from this book than from any more academic account. Nickelsberg had produced a masterpiece, and this is a masterpiece that literally took decades of trips to this beautiful and tragic country. You'll discover a country both tragic and magic, as you accompany Nickelsberg on his journey through time. This book will become a classic, and you'll find yourself revisiting it often and sharing it with friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary L. Kieffer on June 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nickelberg is one of the unsung heroes of photojournalism. His reportage covering most American conflicts since El Salvador. His coverage of Afghanistan is extensive and very poignant and visually intriguing. Nickelsberg is one of the last of a vanishing breed of true professionalism in photography and war coverage. This is a must see book on the long war in the 'Stan.
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