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Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer Hardcover – March 12, 2013
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In April 2011, Hetherington, 40, was killed in a mortar attack while covering the Arab Spring uprising in Misrata, Libya. Hetherington, likely best known for codirecting the Academy Award–nominated documentary Restrepo, about the Afghanistan war, spent eight years as a war photographer covering conflicts from Africa to South Asia. But, as Huffman documents, Hetherington went way beyond photographing the carnage and violence of war to detail the lives of the people affected. He tended to immerse himself in the local life and culture, covering a school choir of blind children in Sierra Leone and spending three years helping the UN track down human-rights criminals in Liberia. Oxford-educated Hetherington used photos, videos, and written narratives to chronicle the lives of people in war-torn areas. Huffman details the life of a man who wasn’t satisfied to record images but wanted to understand the causes behind the war, the histories of conflict, and the individuals—many, adolescents—caught in the horror and drama of war. Through Hetherington’s extraordinary life, Huffman explores a dangerous profession and how one man pursued it with his own personal twist. --Vanessa Bush
[Huffman] investigates not only the significant life of his subject, whom he admires greatly, but also the craft of the war photographer and the tensions and contradictions involved . . . Huffman excels at heightening the drama, depicting the rapid-fire action and constant danger of working among soldiers and guerrillas engaged in battle.”The Boston Globe
Huffman looks at what it means to be a war reporter in the 21st century through the lens of the iconic Hetherington’s life, looking at his early workprize-winning photographs of Liberian childrento his Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo” . . . to the mortar blast in Libya that cut his life short.”New York Post (Required Reading)
[Here I Am] captures the unflinching life of war photographer Tim Hetherington. . . . Huffman re-creates the suspense of battle, the tension between competing photographers who, by nature, are judgmental of one another’s approach to depicting war; he builds detailed characters of Libyan ambulance drivers, fighters, and commanders as successfully as he depicts the contentious clique of photographers.”Lynsey Addario, Daily Beast
Huffman vividly chronicles the short life of a man drawn to danger zones to capture the horrors of modern warfare.”Los Angeles Times
A powerfully written biography . . . titled Here I Am in reference to a moment that Hetherington finds himself in his own viewfinder, reflected back in a mirror. This is poignant imagery and metaphor for the entire body of this extraordinary artist and humanist’s life.”Huffington Post
Celebrate[s] Tim Hetherington’s life . . . recount[s] his last days in Libya in excruciating detail.”TIME
Huffman takes readers into the midst of some dangerous and gruesome battle zones that Hetherington recorded. The book is part biography and part war chronicle, but it is also a skillfully constructed eulogy, in which Huffman allows many of Hetherington’s friends and colleagues to reminisce about a fallen comrade. . . . By deftly combining such personal memories with vivid descriptions of battle zones, Huffman makes Here I Am a must-read as a uniquely constructed memoriam.”Winnipeg Free Press
Huffman recounts Hetherington’s career in chapters that expand on the many conflicts the photographer covered: The Liberian civil war; the genocide in Sudan. . . the American occupation of Afghanistan. . . and succeeds in immersing us in Hetherington’s daily reality while in conflict zones. . . . Many excellent interviews with friends and colleagues add a personal dimension to the photographer’s extraordinary life.”The Columbia Journalism Review
The biographer wanted closure not only for himself and his book, but also for Hetherington’s loved onesand especially for future war photojournalists who would look back and look up to Hetherington. . . . A tribute. Fortunately for readers, though, it is not undiluted hagiography.”Cleveland Plain Dealer
Huffman recounts the career arc of British-born and -educated Hetherington while simultaneously providing insights into the mentality of war photographers during the past century. . . . A first-rate biographical portrait that also deserves accolades for its insights into the minds of adventure-seeking photographers.”Kirkus Reviews
Huffman’s biography crackles with the authenticity of his own experiences in Liberia and interviews with Hetherington and his colleagues . . . An in-depth, intense chronicle.”Shelf Awareness
Compelling . . . Huffman details Hetherington’s early career, friendships, and experiences with rebels in Africa, and influences and aesthetic struggles. . . and offers perspectives from firsthand sources to unveil the heroism and errors of his final days.”Publishers Weekly
From American journalist Alan Huffman comes Here I Am. . . a biography about the photojournalist famous for his iconic photos of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, who was killed in 2011 by a mortar blast during the Libyan civil war.”Quill & Quire (Spring Preview 2013)
Huffman details the life of a man who wasn’t satisfied to record images but wanted to understand the causes behind the war, the histories of conflict, and the individualsmany, adolescentscaught in the horror and drama of war. Through Hetherington’s extraordinary life, Huffman explores a dangerous profession and how one man pursued it with his own personal twist.”Booklist
A tale worth telling, a look into a world of violence and chaos few could understand.”The Jackson Clarion-Ledger
[Huffman is] at his riveting best in his description of the battle for Misrata, which puts the reader as close as most of us ever want to get to the absolute hell of chaotic urban war.”Pasatiempo
I was happy to see news of a book about Hetherington; I was even happier that Huffman was writing it. The man can write. . . . Huffman could have written a fine book about war, but in Here I Am he’s done something a little more complicatedhe’s captured and communicated how Tim Hetherington saw war.”Lemuria Bookstore Blog
Top customer reviews
And now for the title of this review. That is only a slight exaggeration. I am a film shooter, and it was so amazing to read about Tim's view on photojournalism and his use of film in his documentary of the world's people. I have been inspired to work on a project of my own this summer, and never have I been more excited about being a journalist.
Just a great read, and highly recommended.
grappling with the symbiotic nature of photojournalism and war, he just kept going into the 'lion's den'. sometimes capturing the most intimate of scenes that become survivor's memories- the cause of that thousand yard stare.