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Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (September 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896597904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896597904
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From Baghdad Journal

New York artist Steve Mumford traveled to Baghdad four times in 2003 and 2004 following the American invasion, and his on-the-spot drawings and paintings vividly capture everyday life for both Iraqis and Americans during the drama and the downtime of a country in turmoil. Here are three paintings from his book, with Mumford's own comments on his subjects:

Street sweepers in Baghdad. Hundreds of students were hired by the Coalition Provisional Authority in August 2003 to tackle Baghdad's massive trash problem since the invasion.
Inside a Paladin: One night the base was attacked with 20 mortar rounds, and the artillery crews fired back. Staff Sgt. Diego Jimenez aimed the rounds, which Sgt. Narciso Martinez set and Pfc. Javier Vasquez fired.
Capt. Hector Maldonado talking with a Shi'ite imam after the arrest of another imam for inciting violence. Annoyed at being given a warning, at one point the imam tried to take [Mumford's] drawing away. Posters of Muqtada Sadr decorated the columns.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. With countless war accounts already in from Iraq, it's refreshing to get this dispatch told, from the perspective not of a journalist or a photographer, but of an artist. Mumford, a New York City painter, first arrived in Baghdad in April of 2003 and spent about a year there, and in other cities, accompanying U.S. troops on patrols, raids and combat missions. But the most arresting images in this illustrated journal come from his more mundane interactions: with people in cafés, at a meeting with a local imam, at a galley favored by local Baghdad artists. Mumford writes that, for him, "the act of drawing slowed down the war, recording the spaces in between the bombs," and it is through these spaces, the day-to-day of life in a country where life runs minute-to-minute, that Iraq and its war become illuminated in a way that we rarely see. At first glance Mumford's watercolors carry something of the hasty urgency of courtroom art, but this impression is soon belied by the images' depth of feeling and nuance. Accompanying the watercolors are passages from his journal, written in a lucid and reflective style that perfectly matches these quiet spaces pushing out at the surrounding chaos. His is a remarkable document.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ELIZABETH on October 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
How wonderful to see a book that has a personal artistic view.

This is a compelling, unique and personal view of war torn Iraq. After the TV cameras are shut off and the photogs have gone we see a very different view......thanks to Mumford.

His artwork has a great range as does his subject matter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Steve Mumford, Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq (Drawn and Quarterly, 2005)

"Unusual." On page 157, Steve Mumford uses this word to describe getting ready for a firefight. And his use of this word, the naturalness of it, and the fact that by page 157 the reader fully believes it, is what makes Steve Mumford's Baghdad Journal such an interesting book. For what Mumford gives us is an entirely different outlook on occupied Iraq than we in America get from the majority of the American media-- one of day-to-day life that is full of conflict, but is mostly civilians and the American armed forces going about their everyday lives, dealing with the quotidian worries that one might expect in a country trying to rebuild after a devastating conflict. And the key term in that sentence is "after."

Baghdad Journal is exactly what it purports to be-- it's a guy with a press pass, a pad, and some colors wandering around and describing what he sees. Mumford is an engaging writer, though his prose often tends toward the journalistic (a charge I have often wished I could level at most of the reporters over there); this is more than made up for by the drawings, which present a world unlike that we've been given to believe exists in Iraq at present.

A good book, and an important one. Worth your time. *** ˝
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Choko Mario on September 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful artwork, which not only let me see where no photographers seem to be able to go, but also, as only art can do, these pictures communicated the feel of the scenes.

I am haunted by this book and greatful to the Artist.
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By Tara L. Tappert on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The artwork is spectacular. The artist captures the country and the war in a compelling manner. Well worth viewing and reading.
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