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Where War Lives 1St Edition Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0771088223
ISBN-10: 0771088221
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran war correspondent Watson takes the reader on a graphic tour of modern battlefields from Eritrea to Afghanistan, with a particularly haunting stop in war-torn Somalia. It was in Somalia that Watson photographed the corpse of an American soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu—a photo that set off a firestorm of outrage in the U.S. and won him a Pulitzer Prize. Watson claims that he was consumed by anger, fear, and shame after taking the picture and later sought exoneration from the soldier's family. A self-described war junkie who calls Kashmir a fiery seductress, Watson is undeterred even when he's diagnosed with chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The lessons that he learns—[w]ar does not conquer evil, truth is a moving target and war lives in all of us, among them—are neither original nor particularly helpful. Watson is at his best describing the sights and sounds of war; his book suffers and he loses credibility when he poses as a journalist-savant whose only loyalty is to the truth. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In 1993, Paul Watson, a journalist stationed in Mogadishu, Somalia, took a photograph that was published around the world and won him a Pulitzer Prize. It was an image of a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets, his corpse being beaten by onlookers. It’s a sad, tragic picture, emblematic of the sort of thing that Watson, as a war correspondent, did for a living: he wrote about and took pictures of the kind of violence and tragedy that most of us can barely imagine. But being a journalist of war takes its toll on a person (the author was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder), and this intense, memorable memoir show its readers what it feels like to work in the middle of a war zone. War correspondents have been portrayed in fiction as glamorous and heroic. The truth, or at least the truth of Watson’s experience, is somewhat different. It’s a life of constant fear, of being prepared to move at a moment’s notice, of capturing in words and pictures the worst that human beings are capable of. Not too many autobiographies deserve to be called a must-read, but this is one of them, if for no other reason than to put the horrors seen on the nightly news into a larger, more personal context. --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1St Edition edition (August 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771088221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771088223
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Curt on December 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a Somalia veteran and well aware of how dangerous a mob could be, I had always wondered what Watson was thinking when he was the lone American in the middle of a seething mob of Africans who were tearing an American corpse apart. His description of the event is so powerful, I felt like I was back on Mogadishu's streets with him, seeing what he saw and feeling his fear, not of just being killed, but of being torn apart. Four other journalists had been dealt with that way by a Somali mob three months before the Black Hawk Down firefight and he presumed the same thing would happen to him. Not only does he take the pictures and manage to get away, but actually went back a second time to take more pictures in case his editor didn't accept the first batch because they showed the corpse's genitals.

Watson then goes on to describe other war zones he reported on: the Persian Gulf War, Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. He describes his trade of being a war correspondent without apology as he travels from one slaughter to another, taking pictures and writing the stories of the soldiers and their victims. In the end, he finds that the only thing that gives meaning in a world of war, bloodshed, violence, death and destruction is love. It sounds like a simple answer, but Watson's journey into where war lives is profound.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Boyer on July 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is really thought provoking. It should be particularly interesting to photographers with a political interest.
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