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Iraq | Perspectives (Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography) Hardcover – November 4, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

Iraq | Perspectives (Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography) + Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War + Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq
Price for all three: $97.10

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Product Details

  • Series: Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography
  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (November 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822351668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822351665
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 12.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Lowy's photos are unmistakably scenes from Iraq—ruined buildings, street vendors, kids with missing limbs, billboards for newly minted cellphone services. In Lowy's images, we see daily life returning to this country, but the children shown have known little but this forlorn landscape. Dreariness is all. The most original component of Lowy's book is the thematic divisions. The first part consists of images captured through the windows of military Humvees, while the second part consists entirely of green night-vision images and yields the most intimate moments, including Iraqi civilians being intimidatd and detained in what appear to be their own homes.” - David Fellerath, The Independent Weekly

“Lowy’s photographs of both daily life and the terror of warfare were taken through the windows of a Humvee and through military-issue night vision goggles. They provide a revealing perspective on what he describes as ‘the fear and desperation that is war.’” - Shelf Unbound (A Top Small Press Books of 2011)

“The mediation inscribed in the image - the window frame, the night vision haze - positions us in relation to the scene. By representing the act of perception, by addressing the experience of observation as much as the observation of experiences, Lowy’s subject is both what the soldier sees and how the soldier sees. The pictures contain the clues and tools that encourage the audience to consider photojournalism as practice. Lowy’s frames do what all photography does, but they do it exceptionally well: they simultaneously invite us to look, and hold us in place.” - Leo Hsu, Foto8

“Whether looking out of armoured car windows or through green-tinted night-vision goggles, the military has little opportunity to connect with the local people or everyday life, as Lowy's shots make chillingly clear.” - British Journal of Photography (named one of their best books of 2011)

“I’m not one to shirk engaging the discussion of a book but Iraq | Perspectives puts me in an unusual place. It is an important, memorable and arresting photobook, and for all these reasons I’m left rather without anything to say. This book is hard for me to talk about simply because the work speaks so extraordinarily well for itself. The images that are compact and succinct, presenting at once the literal and metaphorical. It is among the best representations of the day to day realities of our soldiers and the psychological boundaries keeping us from comprehending Iraq and this war.” - Sarah Bradley, Photo-Eye

"These images were practically asking to be in a book together-everything about them-the conception, the subject, the fact that we're still at war, the way the pictures were taken. Benjamin's work is an opportunity to see as an American soldier sees when in Iraq-nobody's ever shown that, especially through night vision goggles.”—William Eggleston, Prize Judge

About the Author

Benjamin Lowy is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and began his career in 2003 when he was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division to cover the Iraq War. Lowy’s career as a conflict photographer has also taken him to Haiti, Darfur, and Afghanistan, among other places. Lowy’s photographs have appeared in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, Stern, National Geographic Adventure, Men’s Journal, and Rolling Stone, and his work has been recognized by American Photography, Foam Magazine, POYi, Photo District News (PDN’s 30), World Press Photo, and Critical Mass. His work has been exhibited at San Francisco MOMA, Tate Modern, Open Society Institute’s Moving Walls, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Battlespace, and the Houston Center for Photography, among others. Lowy’s photographs from Iraq were chosen from over two hundred entries as the fifth winner of the biennial CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rick on June 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
These images are not the bloody, chaotic moments of a protracted war with Iraq but speak every bit as loudly. There is a palpable tension that exists in the photographs that shows the disconnect between the U.S. military and the Iraqi people. Lowy used humvee windows to frame his subjects throughout the first half of the book and resulting images are beautifully frozen moments of our time in Iraq.

A sadness permeates many of these images as you seen the disdain on the faces and body language of the Iraqis. A sadness also exists as you feel for the soldier - at times a target, at other times a liberator - but always locked out developing any deeper connection to the Iraqi people. Watching life outside roll by through a bulletproof window while on patrol is a perfect metaphor for this divide between cultures.

The second half of the book is a series of eerie images made through night vision goggles. The night raid images are haunting and the tunnel vision perspective shows me the war from a soldier's viewpoint.

The book itself is elegant in design and will make a great addition to my photo book collection. Mr. Lowy's images of the war will stand the test of time and are an important and artistic document of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
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By Kim Burress on February 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for my son who was stationed in Iraq a few years ago. As I turned the pages, I found myself going through many different emotions, but gratitude my son returned overrode all others.
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By keen on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love the idea that Ben captured one of the many viewpoints soldiers have on the war. Life as a soldier can all too often be brutal and bloody. But not always. Sometimes it's driving all day to, from, and through Iraqi neighborhoods. The ability to view--through the window of a humvee--the lives of Iraqis as they go about their daily routine is an education and a true eye opener. Such is the way of the images in Ben's book, "Iraqi Perspectives". Thanks for sharing the lives of both the soldier and of the civilians they fight for.
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