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War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: it’s her singular calling. Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself. Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war. Addario takes bravery for granted but she is not fearless. She uses her fear and it creates empathy; it is that feeling, that empathy, that is essential to her work. We see this clearly on display as she interviews rape victims in the Congo, or photographs a fallen soldier with whom she had been embedded in Iraq, or documents the tragic lives of starving Somali children. Lynsey takes us there and we begin to understand how getting to the hard truth trumps fear. As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys’ club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and her career, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother, she gains an all the more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life. Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It’s What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.


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War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: it’s her singular calling. Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself. Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war. Addario takes bravery for granted but she is not fearless. She uses her fear and it creates empathy; it is that feeling, that empathy, that is essential to her work. We see this clearly on display as she interviews rape victims in the Congo, or photographs a fallen soldier with whom she had been embedded in Iraq, or documents the tragic lives of starving Somali children. Lynsey takes us there and we begin to understand how getting to the hard truth trumps fear. As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys’ club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and her career, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother, she gains an all the more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life. Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It’s What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.

30 review for It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    “Sahafi! Media!! He yelled to the soldiers. He opened the car door to get out, and Quadaffi’s soldiers swarmed around him. “Sahafi!” In one fluid movement the doors flew open and Tyler, Steve, and Anthony were ripped out of the car. I immediately locked my door and buried my head in my lap. Gunshots shattered the air. When I looked up, I was alone. I knew I had to get out of the car to run for cover, but I couldn’t move. Click! Lynsey Addario - from CBS News You may not recognize the name L “Sahafi! Media!! He yelled to the soldiers. He opened the car door to get out, and Quadaffi’s soldiers swarmed around him. “Sahafi!” In one fluid movement the doors flew open and Tyler, Steve, and Anthony were ripped out of the car. I immediately locked my door and buried my head in my lap. Gunshots shattered the air. When I looked up, I was alone. I knew I had to get out of the car to run for cover, but I couldn’t move. Click! Lynsey Addario - from CBS News You may not recognize the name Lynsey Addario, but if you read newspapers, check out magazines or are aware at all of the imagery that accompanies major events in the world, you have seen her work. Addario is one of the premier photojournalists on the planet and has the portfolio, the Pulitzer and a MacArthur award to prove it. In 2014, American Photo named her one of the five most influential photographers of the last quarter century. In 2012, Newsweek magazine cited her as one of 150 Women Who Shake the World. Thankfully, she does not shake her camera when she is shooting (unless of course it is for intended effect). Although no one could blame her if she did. Addario has spent a large portion of her career as a conflict photographer, working for extended periods on the scene in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Congo, Sudan and other garden spots. Wherever people have been shooting at each other in the last two decades there is a good chance that Lynsey Addario has been there. The one place she declares she will not go these days is Syria, which says something. She has been kidnapped in the field twice and has felt her life to be in danger more times than that, so when she says she won’t go to a place, it must be something really special.   US Soldiers in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan It’s What I Do is Addario’s tale of her journey from growing up in a Connecticut suburb as part of a Bohemian family, to finding and developing a talent for capturing life through a lens, to pursuing a career in photography. While working in New York in 1999, she got a big break, being asked to work on an Associated Press project looking into transgender prostitution in the city, and the spate of homicides with which that community was being afflicted. It turned into a months-long undertaking and brought her work to public notice for the first time. Click! A shot from that series In 2000 a family friend invited her to go India. Everything that made India the rawest place on earth made it the most wonderful to photograph. The streets hummed with constant movement, a low-grade chaos where almost every aspect of the human condition was in public view. Click! It was while there that she was encouraged to go to Afghanistan to shoot the lives of women living under the Taliban. She was able to gain access to a half of Afghani society barred to her male counterparts. Click! Women and girls study and recite the Koran in Peshawar, Pakistan, 2001 - from the Women’s Eye 9/11 brought on a whole new era of conflict. Addario was on the scene when the USA invaded Iraq, having set up shop in Kurdistan when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Of course that required some extra planning. At the time she got the assignment she was in South Korea covering refugees from the north, and enduring the extraordinary humanitarian horrors of the extended karaoke the refugees enjoyed. She needed to get tooled up for the job and it proved challenging. One thing she had to arrange for was body armor. She found herself befuddled by the on-line offerings. She wrote to her editor. I have checked out the websites you recommended, and am not sure if I just tried to read Korean. Basically, I have no idea what I am looking at—ballistic, six-point adjustable, tactical armor, etc. Please understand that this language is not familiar to me—I grew up in Connecticut, was raised by hairdressers. A woman prays at dawn after the 2010 earthquake that nearly destroyed Haiti She was kidnapped for the first time while en route to Ramali with other journalists. And was subsequently jarred when Life magazine declined to publish her photographs, because they were too real for the American public. (The New York Times Magazine would later publish some of the work.) The experience of working in the Iraq war zone and coping with the politics of news publishing provided valuable life lessons. ...something in me had changed after three months in Iraq. I was now a photojournalist willing to die for stories that had the potential to educate people. I wanted to make people think, to open their minds, to give them a full picture of what was happening in Iraq so they could decide if they supported our presence there. Her work has often demonstrated the power of the image. When she got shots of a Sudan massacre she made it impossible for President Bashir to continue denying that the war crime had taken place. Addario’s image of armed boys and men near the Afghan border won her a Pulitzer – from The Women’s Eye Addario pooh-poohs any notion that she is an adrenalin junkie. She says that she has come to recognize that the photos she takes have the power to inform the public and influence people, so feels a responsibility, a calling to bear witness to much of the awfulness of the world in order to shine some light on it, to bring it to the world’s attention. Addario stopped to help when one of these women was in labor, miles from a hospital. She gave them a ride. – From Itswhatidobbook.com When Addario first submitted her manuscript, she was advised to make it more personal, as in writing about her off-the-field life as well as her experiences behind the lens. She includes in the final version a bit of her love-life history, which entailed some admittedly bad choices. As a dedicated career-woman, sustaining relationships has always taken second place to her work. She says she even walked out on dinner dates when she got an assignment. Recently, a young photographer asked her how to get into the business. She told him to start traveling, shooting and contacting editors for assignments. When he told her that he didn’t want to travel much because of his girlfriend, Addario told him to break up with her. “He thought I was insane,” says Addario. “I told him you have to decide what your priorities are. If you are not willing to make that sacrifice, there are 10,000 young photographers who will.” - from Photo District News articleThe book contains many amazing shots Addario has taken over the course of her career. They add significantly to the aura of outsized accomplishment that Addario has earned. One significant thing about the shots Addario takes is that they are not only journalistically effective but expose an impressive artistic talent. She is able to tell troubling stories while at the same time making outstanding art. The book is printed on very high-quality paper, images and text, which adds a very tactile richness to both the visual power on display and the engaging text. An Iraqi woman fleeing a massive fire in Basra in 2003 Although one can piece together information by reading diverse articles about her, and watching sundry videos in which Addario does presentations and is interviewed, those connections are not always spelled out in the book. Particularly in the earlier parts of her photographic sojourn, it was somewhat murky why and how she decided to uproot and move to Argentina, and later to India. Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq It’s What I Do is not a photography book. You will not get any technical tips there. While you will see some very nicely printed photographic images, those are there to enhance, to illuminate the text. The main thing here is her story. Lynsey Addario is a rock star in the world of photographic journalism. She takes us frame by frame on her journey from suburban origins as the child of hairdressers to becoming a world traveler covering important events everywhere on the planet in an attempt to illuminate the darkness. It is quite clear that her achievements have come at considerable personal cost, and that she is possessed of a rare personal fire that has driven her to take large risks in order to fulfill what she perceives as her mission in life. For those of us not familiar with the names that appear under all those news photos, It’s What I Do offers particular insight into just how important it is to have photographic boots on the ground wherever important events are occurring. Real-world photography is Addario’s contribution to the world. We are all enriched by her efforts, her sacrifices, her courage and her talent. This book will be an eye-opener for many. It is a perfectly focused, well-framed look at a life well lived, a life that has benefited and promises to continue to benefit us all. Click! Publication -----2/5/2015 - hardcover -----11/8/2016 - paperback Review posted – 4/22/2016 BTW, a deal has been struck to turn this into a major film, with Jennifer Lawrence as Addario, to be directed by Steven Spielberg ==========In the summer of 2019 GR reduced the allowable review size by 25%, from 20,000 to 15,000 characters. In order to accommodate the text beyond that I have moved it to the comments section directly below.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adina

    I took time with this wonderful, strong autobiography, reading a few pages/day trying to fully immerse myself in her story and her pictures. I am usually a fast reader and I tend to forget a lot from what I am reading and I did not want it to be the case with this one. As a consequence the review is also quite long, probably the longest I have ever written. Lynsey Addario is and American photojournalist, one of the best at her job. She was member of a team that won the Pulizer prize for a story I took time with this wonderful, strong autobiography, reading a few pages/day trying to fully immerse myself in her story and her pictures. I am usually a fast reader and I tend to forget a lot from what I am reading and I did not want it to be the case with this one. As a consequence the review is also quite long, probably the longest I have ever written. Lynsey Addario is and American photojournalist, one of the best at her job. She was member of a team that won the Pulizer prize for a story on Talibans and a receiver of the MacArthur Award. She does freelance work and collaborates mainly with the New York Times and National Geographic. She mainly covers conflict and disadvantaged zones. Moreover, she is one of the few women to succeed in this difficult and rewarding job. When I was looking at conflict photographs in the news websites, I sometimes wondered about the person behind the lens and what it takes to get that perfect shot? Why do they do it? Is it adrenaline or a higher purpose? What do they sacrifice? Are they afraid? Are they mad? How hard is it to live and work in a conflict zone? All these questions and more are answered in Lynsey Addario’s autobiography. It is a story of incredible courage, passion, love but also suffering and loss. “The truth is that few of us are born into this work. It is something we discover accidentally, something that happens gradually. We get a glimpse of this unusual life and this extraordinary profession, and we want to keep doing it, no matter how exhausting, stressful, or dangerous it becomes. It is the way we make a living, but it feels more like a responsibility, or a calling. It makes us happy, because it gives us a sense of purpose. We bear witness to history, and influence policy.”   I have to admit that I knew absolutely nothing about her before reading two reviews of this book on Goodreads and decided I want to learn more about this fascinating woman and her passion. I am also not a photographer. I like to take pictures, I own a DSLR and some lenses but I am not a fanatic on the subject. Finally, I do not read much non-fiction, something that I want to fix in the future. I am saying all this because I want to point out that I am not the standard target audience for this book. However, I loved it and learned valuable lessons about life. Addario is a great woman and an inspiration. Reading her memoir encourages me to leave my fears at the door and to pursuit what I want/need without constant worry. Her work touches many sensitive subjects such as the justice of war, the innocent victims, the misery of women all around the world, poverty, famine, love and death. She is an American photographer but does not necessary follow the American agenda in Afghanistan or Iraq. On the contrary, she tried to capture the cost of the war, either for Americans or Arabs. Her work was censored more than once. She discusses those instances at length. She also tried to pinpoint the mistakes the American soldiers did when dealing with the Arab culture, which negatively influenced the Arab’s opinion on Americans. “The Americans didn’t understand the value of honor and respect in an Arab culture. Young American soldiers, many of whom had never traveled abroad before, much less to a Muslim country, didn’t realize that a basic familiarity with Arab culture might help their cause. During night patrols, fresh-faced Americans in their late teens and early twenties would stop cars jam-packed with Iraqi family members—men, women, and children—shine their flashlights into the cars, and scream, “Get the fuck out of the car!” Armed to the teeth, they busted into private homes late in the night, pushing the men to the floor, screaming in their faces in English, and zip-tying their wrists while questioning them—often without interpreters and while the children stood, terrified, in the doorway. They would shine their flashlights on women in nightgowns, unveiled, track their dirty boots through people’s homes, soil their carpets and their dignity. For an Arab man, foreigners seeing his wife uncovered brought shame and dishonor to the family, and it merited revenge.”  One of the subjects that impressed me the most was women’s sufferance and, in many countries, their lack of rights. This is a subject that deeply concerns and enrages me One recent example from her work struck me. I saw the following picture on the website that accompanies the book. The person in the pink dress is a 13 years old Syrian refuge at her engagement party with an 18 years old man. According to the photo caption: “more and more Syrian girls are marrying at a younger age because of the insecurity of the war, because many families feel the girls in their family may be sexually harassed if they are not under the care of a husband, and because of prospect of alleviating the financial burden of one more mouth to feed” I saw this picture a few days before reading a story on BBC Website where it said that there are a lot of cases of underage marriages in Germany and other countries among Syrian refuges. Although the cited reasons are the same as the ones put forward by Addario this practice is unacceptable. They might call it marriage but I call it rape. Throughout the book, Addario, tries to balance the story and talks about her love live which was as tumultuous as her job. She explains how hard it is for a person, especially a woman, who travels so much, to have a stable relationship and balance family with work. She is lucky to have found a man to support her in her carrier and who doesn't want to change her which is what she deserves, what all women do. “Photography has shaped the way I look at the world; it has taught me to look beyond myself and capture the world outside. It’s also taught me to cherish the life I return to when I put the camera down. My work makes me better able to love my family and laugh with my friends.”  I recommend everyone to read this autobiography. I also want to encourage everyone to buy the hardcover as the pictures and the quality of the paper are worth the investment.   “I choose to live in peace and witness war—to experience the worst in people but to remember the beauty.”   Further resources: An interview about her work and book: link Her website: link ******* Lynsey's thoughts after she was censored by the Life magazine which gave up publishing a story on injured American soldiers as it could change the public's opinion on war in Iraq: "Almost five months after I shot the story , they finally did run in the New York Times Magazine, but something in me had changed after months in Iraq. i was now a photojournalist willing to die or stories that had the potential to educate people. I wanted to make people think, to open their minds, to give them a full picture of what was happening in Iraq so they could decide whether they supported our presence there. When I risked my life to ultimately be censored by someone sitting in a cushy office in New York, who was deciding on behalf of regular Americans what was too hard for their eyes, depriving them of their right to see where their own children were fighting, I was furious. Every time I photographed a story like the injured soldiers coming out of Fallujah, I ended up in tears and emotionally fragile. Every time I returned home, I felt more strongly about the need to continue going back" This was one of the moments she goes really personal and she explains what drives her. This is one of the few stories of censorship in America that I read this week. It is worrying that they should exist in country that prides itself with free speech.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I've always admired journalists who cover wars. After reading It's What I Do, I have a better appreciation for just how difficult it is for writers and photographers to report in areas of conflict. Lynsey Addario has had an amazing career as a photojournalist. She's covered conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Darfur, and dozens of other places. She's been kidnapped twice. She's been hunkered down with soldiers during battle. She's had tea with members of the Taliban. The girl gets around. "While I've always admired journalists who cover wars. After reading It's What I Do, I have a better appreciation for just how difficult it is for writers and photographers to report in areas of conflict. Lynsey Addario has had an amazing career as a photojournalist. She's covered conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Darfur, and dozens of other places. She's been kidnapped twice. She's been hunkered down with soldiers during battle. She's had tea with members of the Taliban. The girl gets around. "While covering war, there were days when I had boundless courage and there were days, like these in Libya, when I was terrified from the moment I woke up." In this memoir, which is filled with her amazing photographs and stories, we learn about Addario's childhood in Connecticut and see how she got her start taking pictures. We also discover how difficult it is for journalists who report in war zones to maintain relationships — Addario had her heart broken repeatedly before she found her future husband. And when she learns she's pregnant, she has to face her fears about falling behind in her career. "I couldn't just have a baby and go back to Afghanistan. If I took a month off, I was likely to be replaced by one of the other, say, two hundred freelancers vying to get my assignments. If I took six months off to have a baby, I believed I would be written off by my editors. I was in a man's profession. I couldn't think of a single female photojournalist who was married or had a child." She did have a child, and she still has her career. One of Addario's passions is covering women's issues, such as maternity care, rape and gender-based violence. She shares heartbreaking stories of meeting women around the world who have suffered unbelievable trauma. "So many women were casualties of their birthplace. They had nothing when they were born and would have nothing when they died; they survived off the land and through their dedication to their families, their children. I interviewed dozens and dozens of African women who had endured more hardship and trauma than most Westerners even read about, and they plowed on. I often openly cried during interviews, unable to process this violence and hatred toward women I was witnessing." Recently I had the chance to hear Addario speak at a National Geographic event, and she said one of the reasons she decided to write this book was for her son, to help him understand the importance of her work. After reading it, I also have a new appreciation for the importance of photojournalists — when pictures of war and conflict are published in a powerful forum like The New York Times, those photographs can show the world what's really going on, and could even change the course of events. "I was now a photojournalist willing to die for stories that had the potential to educate people. I wanted to make people think, to open their minds, to give them a full picture of what was happening..." This is a really powerful book. I would highly recommend Addario's book to anyone interested in international politics or journalism memoirs. Favorite Quotes "I had no idea that I would become a conflict photographer. I wanted to travel, to learn about the world beyond the United States. I found that the camera was a comforting companion. It opened up new worlds, and gave me access to people's most intimate moments. I discovered the privilege of seeing life in all its complexity, the thrill of learning something new every day. When I was behind a camera, it was the only place in the world I wanted to be." "Until you get injured or shot or kidnapped, you believe you are invincible." "Journalists can sound grandiose when they talk about their profession. Some of us are adrenaline junkies; some of us are escapists; some of us do wreck our personal lives and hurt those who love us most. This work can destroy people. I have seen so many friends and colleagues become unrecognizable from trauma: short-tempered, sleepless, and alienated from friends. But after years of witnesses so much suffering in the world, we find it hard to acknowledge that lucky, free, prosperous people like us might be suffering, too. We feel more comfortable in the darkest places than we do back home, where life seems too simple and too easy. We don't listen to that inner voice that says it is time to take a break from documenting other people's lives and start building our own."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    How many times have I mindlessly flipped through the glossy images of a magazine in a waiting room? Too many times...but never with the realization I have now. I will never look at a photograph of conflict and war the same way again. It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War documents Lynsey Addario’s experiences as a combat journalist. This memoir presents more of a story than just what she has viewed through her camera though. It also documents her experience as a woman working in How many times have I mindlessly flipped through the glossy images of a magazine in a waiting room? Too many times...but never with the realization I have now. I will never look at a photograph of conflict and war the same way again. It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War documents Lynsey Addario’s experiences as a combat journalist. This memoir presents more of a story than just what she has viewed through her camera though. It also documents her experience as a woman working in a man’s field, interesting cultural and political components in the many countries she has worked in, multiple kidnappings she has fallen victim to, her emotional journey related to what she has seen and personally experienced, and her life away from the camera: the life and people she comes home to when each job is done (that is if she doesn’t decide to take back-to-back assignments). I admire Lynsey’s passion for what she does. She and all the other combat journalists out there literally risk their lives without protection to get a snapshot to the world. Their photojournalism allows us all to bear witness to history. Lynsey acknowledges that her work is both a huge responsibility and a privilege, and based on her memoir, it is evident that she does not take this lightly. Check out It's What I Do, and give yourself a whole new meaning to the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. “Trying to convey beauty in war was a technique to try to prevent the reader from looking away or turning the page in response to something horrible. I wanted them to linger, to ask questions.” Click HERE to view some of Lynsey's stunning and emotional photography. My favorite quote: “Under it all however, are the things that sustain us and bring us together. The privilege of witnessing things that others do not. An idealistic belief that a photograph might affect people’s souls. The thrill of creating art and contributing to the world’s database of knowledge. When I return home and rationally consider the risks, the choices are difficult. But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I am sure there are other versions of happiness but this one is mine.” American photojournalist Lynsey Addario:

  5. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    I so rarely read nonfiction, but this book has me wondering whether I might really be missing out! Addario tells her own story, but in a broader sense that of journalists everywhere, the struggles they face and the rewards, too. We rely so much on journalists, but I have to admit, I do not very often think about where my news is coming from, and especially who took that striking/shocking/unforgettable photo. "It's What I Do" tells a thoughtful and insightful story and for people wary of dry nonf I so rarely read nonfiction, but this book has me wondering whether I might really be missing out! Addario tells her own story, but in a broader sense that of journalists everywhere, the struggles they face and the rewards, too. We rely so much on journalists, but I have to admit, I do not very often think about where my news is coming from, and especially who took that striking/shocking/unforgettable photo. "It's What I Do" tells a thoughtful and insightful story and for people wary of dry nonfiction reports like me, this reads much like a novel. Definitely recommended! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Lynsey Addario has been a war photographer for at least the past two decades. She has won numerous awards and recognition, including the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Prize, for her work. In this memoir she talks of her development from taking photos to being a Photographer. The experience of reading this book left me so grateful….”grateful for your service,” I suppose. That there are people willing and able to do this kind of work, I am forever grateful. It can be fulfilling and exciting but i Lynsey Addario has been a war photographer for at least the past two decades. She has won numerous awards and recognition, including the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Prize, for her work. In this memoir she talks of her development from taking photos to being a Photographer. The experience of reading this book left me so grateful….”grateful for your service,” I suppose. That there are people willing and able to do this kind of work, I am forever grateful. It can be fulfilling and exciting but it is work that never really returns the effort spent, especially for a woman. Addario comes up against sexism time and again in her work as a war photographer in the Middle East and South Asia, but she just plows back in again, not quite oblivious, but unwilling to let it stop her. This is another thing I admire so much. She admits to fear. It is not lack of fear that propels the greatest among us, but that fear does not stop them. This memoir of her time as a war correspondent is as gripping and informative as her photographic work has ever been. We can feel the stress and uncertainty before her decisions to cover Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan, or a village on the outskirts of major combat in Iraq or Libya. She is kidnapped twice, falls in love, has a child, all while holding fast to the notion that her work matters. She tells us how this is so, and we can understand, though many of us would have given it up long before. There is something to be said for those who persist. I cannot recommend this book more highly. It is compulsively readable and completely unforgettable. Her writing is as beautiful and real and important as her photographs. She gives us hope, and a sort of strength and pride. Watch, witness, and never give up.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Wow. Gotta say, even as a photography enthusiast who at one point wanted to be a photojournalist... I have a whole new respect for the field after reading this memoir. I wasn't familiar with Lynsey Addario's work before reading this, but I was completely overwhelmed by both her passion & her determination for her work while reading this book. I'd never realized the full extent of what a war photojournalist goes through to get information to the rest of us. Although I'd heard of journalists being Wow. Gotta say, even as a photography enthusiast who at one point wanted to be a photojournalist... I have a whole new respect for the field after reading this memoir. I wasn't familiar with Lynsey Addario's work before reading this, but I was completely overwhelmed by both her passion & her determination for her work while reading this book. I'd never realized the full extent of what a war photojournalist goes through to get information to the rest of us. Although I'd heard of journalists being kidnapped or shot at before reading this book, I'd thought those were exceptions -- not the rule. I'm not that naive anymore. Addario was shot at in the book so many times I lost count. Her kidnapping experiences were horrifying. At several points in the book I was scared for her life, even though I knew that (as the author) she'd make it out alive in the end. I will literally never read another New York Times special the same way again. I also appreciated her candid tone throughout the book; not only as it related to strictly to photography & photojournalism, but also how she dealt with sexism, relationships, and motherhood as a career-orientated woman. I identified with many of her personal struggles and frustrations and was honestly really pleased for her when she found a partner who both understood and supported her career. Overall, 4/5 stars. There were some points that felt a little repetitive (rinse and repeat with her first boyfriend), but overall I really enjoyed Addario's thoughts & story. Although I listened to an audio version of this book (and the narrator did an excellent job), I'd probably recommend the actual book version to others, as I understand it has some photography included that I think would've really added to the overall experience. (That being said, you can find lots of excellent work on her website: http://www.lynseyaddario.com/) If the author ever reads this review, thanks for all you do to get the stories to the rest of us.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Addario has truly earned and, in that sense, enjoyed a remarkable career, lived a life filled with impressive achievements, and taken extraordinary risks, some of which unsurprisingly led to harrowing, painful, and devastating experiences. Her travels, work, and sacrifices are truly extraordinary. Alas, I found myself constantly frustrated with the book, but I expect that all of my critiques and irritations were self-imposed (and, thus, accordingly, may not distract other readers). The title is e Addario has truly earned and, in that sense, enjoyed a remarkable career, lived a life filled with impressive achievements, and taken extraordinary risks, some of which unsurprisingly led to harrowing, painful, and devastating experiences. Her travels, work, and sacrifices are truly extraordinary. Alas, I found myself constantly frustrated with the book, but I expect that all of my critiques and irritations were self-imposed (and, thus, accordingly, may not distract other readers). The title is entirely accurate - this is a book about one photographer's life; and, it's not necessarily a book for photographers nor is it, in any meaningful way, about photography (other than offering glimpses into the difficulty and, frankly, kismet, associated with breaking into the profession). This is an autobiography in the truest sense - it's the author's story about the author's life, and she can (and should) tell her story anyway she'd like. But the jumble of topics - including but not limited to photography, journalism, gender, love, war, parenting, poverty, travel, the kindness of others, and the evil in men, just to name a few - suggest opportunities for reflection and examination more frequently missed than exploited. I found myself consistently frustrated with what - to me - seemed like superficial examination of significant issues and bored and distracted by, among other things, the author's lengthy coverage of her early, doomed long(er)-term relationship. But, hey, it's her story, and she can tell it any way she wants. And, for all of its faults, it's impossible to accuse the author of egotism or hubris - my sense is that, like many successful people, her insecurities relentlessly drive her, and she wears them on her sleeve. Ultimately, for this reader, throughout the book, there were sufficient stories/vingnettes that kept me going such that, while I never came to like (or identify or even empathize with) the author, it was impossible not respect her achievements, aspiration, drive, and commitment to something (even if I'm not really sure, even having finished the book, what that is).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emma Scott

    Absolutely fascinating with enough detail to put you there but not so much as to feel overwhelmed. Deeply humanistic touch to the prose only added to its awesomeness, as did the feminine perspective which made the dangerous locales potentially more sinister. For someone researching what it's like to be a war photojournalist, this book couldn't have been more perfect, but a highly compelling read even to the casual reader. Loved it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    my own prelude I borrowed this book from my public library. It was purchased with gift funds from our First Selectwoman, Carmen Vance. Carmen started this fund when I worked at Saxton B. Little Free Library, Columbia, CT. I am thankful to see that it continues to add books by, and about women’s issues. The Hook - Memoir allows me to see other people’s worlds, their lives, their hopes, their dreams. These moments of their lives shared in the pages of a book inspire and amaze me, enhancing my own. my own prelude I borrowed this book from my public library. It was purchased with gift funds from our First Selectwoman, Carmen Vance. Carmen started this fund when I worked at Saxton B. Little Free Library, Columbia, CT. I am thankful to see that it continues to add books by, and about women’s issues. The Hook - Memoir allows me to see other people’s worlds, their lives, their hopes, their dreams. These moments of their lives shared in the pages of a book inspire and amaze me, enhancing my own. The Line – ”I was now a photojournalist willing to die for stories that had the potential to educate people.” The Sinker – With an interest in photography and a curiosity to understand what compels a woman to become a conflict photographer, I picked up It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War. After reading this I’m still sorting out the why of Lynsey Addario life choice. It’s not that she doesn’t explain how she got there; it’s just hard to understand why someone would put herself in harms way repeatedly. For Lynsey Addario there is no choice, It’s What I Do plain and simple. Addario begins her story with her growing up years in Westport, CT. I truly enjoyed hearing about her home life, a house filled with people, food, laughter and love. Her parents, Phillip and Camilla are hair dresses with a somewhat bohemian lifestyle that attract all kinds of people with their open door policy. Bruce is just one of these. Addario describes Bruce as ”charismatic, talented, and very flamboyant.” He becomes a friend to both parents. They eventually finance his schooling to become a colorist. After four years, Phillip and Bruce find themselves in love. They move out. Some years later they gift Addario with her first camera, a Nikon FG. This is the beginning. Addario steps early on into a career mostly inhabited by men. She studies, she watches, she learns, she stretches her reach to work for the finest of news sources. Each reader will take something different from Addario’s story. Lynsey Addario has my deep admiration for her determination and dedication to capture a world many of us cannot imagine. She shows us this world with her tools, the lens of a camera. She’s been doing it in war torn countries for years. It is not all about the war and the military, the governments, and the religion, though much circles back to that. Her photographs bring to life the people, those affected by countries where poverty, hunger, brutal treatment of women, children and even men are a way of life. We will never meet them but we will never forget them either. She has a story to tell us and she does so with the imagery of her trade. I know so little of the world. Addario’s memoir and her photographs nudge me to think, question, read and look past my life here in the states. This is the perfect book for Women’s History Month. Highly recommended. There is much I have not told you. I hope you take the time to read It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This was a good read, as one might expect a journalist to be capable of competent writing. Addario certainly found herself in some hair-raising situations and is undoubtedly fortunate to have escaped with life and limb intact, a bit of good fortune that, sadly, was not enjoyed by all of her employees. The fact that she is a woman opened doors for her that would have been closed to male journalists, and she has thereby been able to add to our knowledge of the circumstances of women in the Middle This was a good read, as one might expect a journalist to be capable of competent writing. Addario certainly found herself in some hair-raising situations and is undoubtedly fortunate to have escaped with life and limb intact, a bit of good fortune that, sadly, was not enjoyed by all of her employees. The fact that she is a woman opened doors for her that would have been closed to male journalists, and she has thereby been able to add to our knowledge of the circumstances of women in the Middle East. The book is generously illustrated with Addario's photos, overall very engaging and interesting. She has been justifiably recompensed and recognized for her work, but through it all I couldn't get my mind off the families of the men killed and injured in her employ; would their families consider the outcome worth the cost?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan Edwards

    I had to give this up after about 150 pages, which kills me just a little bit to do. But I just couldn't take the author's politics anymore. I expected to hear fascinating stories about being a photojournalist in some very scary and perilous situations. And there was some of that. But there were too many political asides. I get it - you're against the war on terror. Do you have to belabor that every chance you get? She didn't go in depth on the good stuff either - I felt like I was basically rea I had to give this up after about 150 pages, which kills me just a little bit to do. But I just couldn't take the author's politics anymore. I expected to hear fascinating stories about being a photojournalist in some very scary and perilous situations. And there was some of that. But there were too many political asides. I get it - you're against the war on terror. Do you have to belabor that every chance you get? She didn't go in depth on the good stuff either - I felt like I was basically reading someone's travel itinerary: Pakistan to Iran to Mexico to see her boyfriend - rinse and repeat. Boring.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linda Hart

    Wow! This is a journalist's absolutely fascinating memoir. I have great admiration and respect for Lynsey Addario, the author, and am stunned by her unbelievable experiences and frank reporting. I loved it. It reads like a novel and includes many of her fabulous photos that bring her words to life. I am pretty certain a movie was made about this. Highly recommend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I wasn't sure why this book wasn't sitting well with me as I read it until I came across this quote close to the end: "Journalism is a selfish profession." That's the issue I had with this book.  Throughout most of it I felt like the author had little to no empathy for the people whose lives she was invading.  She was there to document their suffering and to get the best picture.  She talks a lot about how stressful her job was and I'm sure it was but she also talks about how she made sure that s I wasn't sure why this book wasn't sitting well with me as I read it until I came across this quote close to the end: "Journalism is a selfish profession." That's the issue I had with this book.  Throughout most of it I felt like the author had little to no empathy for the people whose lives she was invading.  She was there to document their suffering and to get the best picture.  She talks a lot about how stressful her job was and I'm sure it was but she also talks about how she made sure that she would leave combat zones and go on vacation regularly for her mental health.  That's a luxury that the people she was covering never had.  That disconnect is never discussed. There is a time when she is embedded with another reporter in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.  They are both hiding the fact that the other reporter is pregnant, with no regard for how this increases the danger for the people who are in charge of them. "For the first few weeks Elizabeth didn't seem hindered by pregnancy, aside from the fact that she had to stop to pee several times during the course of each patrol.  After years of trying to get soldiers to overlook our gender on embeds, I cringed each time we had to ask the platoon leader, Lieutenent Matt Piosa, to hold up an entire string of troops in unfriendly villages while Elizabeth scampered off into an abandoned house or behind a tree to empty her bladder." Emphasis mine Then she has a fit because her troops aren't willing to escort her across a hostile valley during an engagement so she can photograph dead villagers. "Afghans dying was an enormous part of that reality, and I was just failing to witness it." Eventually a favorite soldier of hers is killed during this embed and she decides that she's had enough. "Kearney?  Is there any way to get me out of here?"  I cringed as I asked him to also deal with me: a freaked-out girl who was pleading to be extracted from the middle of a hostile ridgeline, where every Black Hawk flight in risked getting shot down by an insurgent on the mountain." I bet all those soldiers would have loved to get out too.  I bet the helicopter pilots had nothing better to do than to risk their lives to go get a freaked out journalist. After years of work in conflict zones, she starts to develop some empathy but only after she has a bad experience with Israeli border guards taunting her over her fears about going through a body scanner when pregnant. "I was confused, appalled, and angry until I suddenly had a moment of clarity:  If the Israeli soldiers were doing this to me, a New York Times journalist accredited by the Israeli government itself, who had called the press officer in advance to graciously ask to be manually searched, how on earth did they treat a poor, Palestinian pregnant woman?  Or a nonpregnant Palestinian woman?  Or a Palestinian man?  The thought terrified me." Talk about needing to be aware of your own privilege.  If they harass ME, maybe they are even meaner to someone else?  What a novel idea.  That's the kind of insular thinking I'd expect from someone who has never traveled before, not a journalist with decades of experience in many countries. I did appreciate the fact that she talked about the fact that she thought her career would be over if she had children.  She didn't want to get pregnant.  She talks about her husband pressuring her.  She was very unhappy when she gave in and got pregnant.  Eventually she liked the kid after he was born but I'm glad she voiced the sort-of taboo thinking that not everyone is a gleeful pregnant person.This review was originally posted on Based On A True Story

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Photojournalist Lynsey Addario remembers a decade on the frontline of conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and strives for balance in her work and personal life. Addario was raised by hairdressers in Connecticut and studied international relations. Her photography hobby soon became an obsession. As a freelance photographer for the New York Times and National Geographic, she has lived in Argentina, Mexico, India and Turkey and crafted photo essays on New York’s transgender prostitutes, Congo’s Photojournalist Lynsey Addario remembers a decade on the frontline of conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and strives for balance in her work and personal life. Addario was raised by hairdressers in Connecticut and studied international relations. Her photography hobby soon became an obsession. As a freelance photographer for the New York Times and National Geographic, she has lived in Argentina, Mexico, India and Turkey and crafted photo essays on New York’s transgender prostitutes, Congo’s rape victims, and women’s lives under the Taliban. Experience in Afghanistan was a boon after 9/11, allowing her to cover the Middle East in a whirlwind of multiple passports and illegal border crossings. Journalists face real danger every day. It’s all here: bombs, car accidents, dehydration, beatings, and sexual assault. Some colleagues and drivers did not survive. Never did Addario fear for her life more than when she was kidnapped in Libya in 2011. The account of those six days in captivity is one of the highlights of this gripping memoir, illustrated with dozens of the author’s excellent full-color photographs. Addario feels a duty to educate people about international warfare. Especially after she got married and had a baby, she has had to fight to be taken seriously in a male-dominated career path. Frustratingly, her photos of injured soldiers and a civilian hit by shrapnel were censored as too ‘real’ for American readers. Yet all the risks over the years have been worth it “to convey beauty in war.” Postscript: I had a year in high school when I wanted nothing more than to be a photojournalist for the Washington Post. This book convinced me, as if I didn’t already realize, that it was not the career path for me. Note: There’s going to be a movie version! Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jennifer Lawrence. Sounds unbeatable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Harriet Levin

    I am super excited to read this book because Lynsey Addario allowed me to use a photo she took for the cover of my novel, How Fast Can You Run. (https://www.amazon.com/How-Fast-Can-Y...) She is a truly a generous person, and in a field dominated by ego. Her work is breathtaking and the photo she allowed me to use has made the cover of my book truly stunning, like owning a work of art. My cover shows a S. Sudanese boy trying to find his mother in the bogs near Bor, S. Sudan in 2013. It is a heart I am super excited to read this book because Lynsey Addario allowed me to use a photo she took for the cover of my novel, How Fast Can You Run. (https://www.amazon.com/How-Fast-Can-Y...) She is a truly a generous person, and in a field dominated by ego. Her work is breathtaking and the photo she allowed me to use has made the cover of my book truly stunning, like owning a work of art. My cover shows a S. Sudanese boy trying to find his mother in the bogs near Bor, S. Sudan in 2013. It is a heartbreaking photo and really corresponds to the story I tell in my novel, also based on a true story. And now I've heard that Steven Spielberg is making It's What I Do into a movie with Jennifer Lawrence playing Lynsey, wow!!!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kats

    I don't remember where I first heard about this memoir but I knew straightaway that I'd be interested in hearing more (as I enjoyed the audio book read by Tavia Gilbert) about Lynsey Addario's life as a photojournalist in conflict and war zones. The journalists in war zones are often the forgotten heroes as they put their lives at risk to report to the wider public what is going on. As we read a newspaper or a magazine we take it for granted that there are visuals accompanying the latest news st I don't remember where I first heard about this memoir but I knew straightaway that I'd be interested in hearing more (as I enjoyed the audio book read by Tavia Gilbert) about Lynsey Addario's life as a photojournalist in conflict and war zones. The journalists in war zones are often the forgotten heroes as they put their lives at risk to report to the wider public what is going on. As we read a newspaper or a magazine we take it for granted that there are visuals accompanying the latest news story, but we don't usually stop to think at what price or risk these photos were obtained. It seems to me that the journalists opting to work in war zones have a certain fearlessness and adrenaline addiction; something I couldn't fathom. Even knowing that this is a memoir written in a first person narrative (i.e. Addario was alive at the time of writing it....), I was scared for her safety and wellbeing on many occasions. Clearly, I wouldn't have the guts for this work. With the interest I had in photography as a career some twenty years ago, I'd have ended up with a dull wedding photography job. :-) Lynsey Addario is inspiring, and her background and family life very interesting. At times there was a bit too much tedious detail and repetition in her story telling ("I flew back to Mexico to see my boy-friend. We went out for dinner with friends, then headed to the beach. It was back to normalcy for a few days before I boarded another flight to Afghanistan." - this sort of scenario was relayed about a dozen times or more), but overall I really enjoyed her animated and candid writing. Much to my dismay there was no PDF file available with the audio book, so I am going to have to look for her photographs online. I imagine that they will be incredibly harrowing pictures given the countries and conflicts she worked in, but I have no doubt they will be of top quality given how many prizes she's won for her work. I have much admiration for Lynsey Addario, her family and her colleagues, and I will be looking out for her work in the future. This article in The Telegraph sums up her book very well and shows some of her prize winning photographs. There is a whole story around the photo of Khalid, a seven year old boy in Afghanistan who had shrapnel wounds in his face, as The New York Times pulled the picture at the last minute due to not wanting to upset the US military!! Here it is seeing the light of day after all. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This riveting memoir will change the way I look at photographs forever. Years of appreciation for the glossy pages in National Geographic, or the special magazine insert of the newspaper, as well as the online galleries attached to major new stories - but did I really stop to think about what went into even *obtaining* this photograph in the first place? More than a passing thought, unfortunately not. Lynsey Addario, an American conflict photojournalist, has changed that. The book begins with a ha This riveting memoir will change the way I look at photographs forever. Years of appreciation for the glossy pages in National Geographic, or the special magazine insert of the newspaper, as well as the online galleries attached to major new stories - but did I really stop to think about what went into even *obtaining* this photograph in the first place? More than a passing thought, unfortunately not. Lynsey Addario, an American conflict photojournalist, has changed that. The book begins with a harrowing description of abduction in Libya by pro-Qaddafi forces in 2011, leaving you in a cliff-hanger for the entire book, as she recounts dozens of other locations and conflicts: wars, famines, elections, coups, disease, drugs. Addario weaves in her own personal story - her childhood, her upbringing and education, and then her chronological recounting of her days in the industry from "stringer" status to sought-after photojournalist to MacArthur genius. As expected with a photographer's memoir, there are many photographs included in the book. Devastating and beautiful captures of life all over the globe. For various reasons - sometimes editorial, sometimes political - some of her work was never published. One particular portrait, an Afghan boy "Khalid" whose injured face she captures perfectly in her frame (see it here), was going to be a cover photo for the New York Times magazine. However, a confusion in captioning and an editorial decision, kept this stunning photo from being published. Fortunately, the photo is seen completely in the book and the online gallery now. Addario's website http://www.lynseyaddario.com includes online galleries of many of her photographs, both pre-dating, and post-dating the book. Although the book was published in spring 2015, the narrative continues through 2012. Her website shows continued work in Iraq/Kurdistan and refugees from ISIS within the last year. Highly recommended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    Journalism is a selfish profession but I still believe in power of its purpose and hoped my family too Three months after I was born, a war began between Iran and Iraq which lasted for 8 years. I still remember most of those years. I was young and I didn’t live in the cities close to border but still there were bombings, I remember horror of loud sound of red alarm broadcasted through streets by loudspeakers and then calmness brought by hearing green alarm. Still this book showed me much more ab Journalism is a selfish profession but I still believe in power of its purpose and hoped my family too Three months after I was born, a war began between Iran and Iraq which lasted for 8 years. I still remember most of those years. I was young and I didn’t live in the cities close to border but still there were bombings, I remember horror of loud sound of red alarm broadcasted through streets by loudspeakers and then calmness brought by hearing green alarm. Still this book showed me much more about war Lynsey Addario shows a raw picture of what is really behind of all headlines we glance over in our everyday commute to work or listen to on radios 9 o clock news after watching a pleasant Sci-Fi TV series. She does it incredibly powerful and amazing. She tells her own journey. Started as a young photo journalist, leaving in two different worlds, tried to mix these worlds so she wouldn’t miss a typical girlfriend/woman life but to be on the front line of war zones. Down in the road understood which one is more important and adopt the other with her job. Her work would come before anything else because that was the nature of her work and it was what she wanted. She tells hardships a female journalist faces and should endure and not let these hardships affect her work, her decision about going to war zone, undeveloped countries. How to handle facing many assaults by hungry men of low education from countries which open relationship with women are banned from them and they see any working woman crossing men worlds as an easy target for sexual assaults. She was abducted two times… There are a lot more to read in this book which cannot sum into a single review, highly recommended. Addario has written a page-turner of a memoir describing her war coverage and why and how she fell into—and stayed in—such a dangerous job. -Booklist

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Simmons

    Five stars for the photographs (brilliant, haunting, gritty, inspiring), but this isn't a photo essay, it's a memoir, and I just wasn't particularly impressed with the writing. (A few times I found myself wishing that one of her journalistic colleagues, like Dexter Filkins, had written a biography of her instead, with Addario's incomparable photos included.) And so while I admire Addario's artistic eye, appreciate her attempt to personalize an incredibly tough job that many newspaper and magazin Five stars for the photographs (brilliant, haunting, gritty, inspiring), but this isn't a photo essay, it's a memoir, and I just wasn't particularly impressed with the writing. (A few times I found myself wishing that one of her journalistic colleagues, like Dexter Filkins, had written a biography of her instead, with Addario's incomparable photos included.) And so while I admire Addario's artistic eye, appreciate her attempt to personalize an incredibly tough job that many newspaper and magazine readers simply take for granted, and respect her bravery for venturing where few, regardless of their gender, would dare to go, I found this book a bit frustrating.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Lynsey Addario is an award winning photojournalist who has covered Afganistan under the Taliban, multiple wars, and a variety of other events. This book is her memoir. In it she discusses her development as a photographer and her experiences covering war zones. She was captured twice and was one of 4 New York Times journalists who went missing in Libya in March of 2011. She won a MacArther Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. She discusses all of these events in the book. I really enjoyed thi Lynsey Addario is an award winning photojournalist who has covered Afganistan under the Taliban, multiple wars, and a variety of other events. This book is her memoir. In it she discusses her development as a photographer and her experiences covering war zones. She was captured twice and was one of 4 New York Times journalists who went missing in Libya in March of 2011. She won a MacArther Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. She discusses all of these events in the book. I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. It contains a lot of her photos which are truly beautiful. Her life story is fascinating. This is a woman who has put herself in harms way over and over again in order to shed light on the horror of war. She describes her work with women rape victims in Africa and her unprecedented access to women living under the Taliban. Her images are raw, emotional, and beautiful. Definitely a worthwhile read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mainlinebooker

    I was really intrigued by the title loving both photojournalism and travel. The strength of this book is her focus on women, and the difficulty of needing to prove herself in a field dominated by men.She artfully discusses how her gender has affected every aspect of balancing her personal and professional life. . Her travelogue explores the exhilarating and demanding aspects of her job showcasing her risky adventures from being beaten, hiking long hours without water with sniper fire abounding, I was really intrigued by the title loving both photojournalism and travel. The strength of this book is her focus on women, and the difficulty of needing to prove herself in a field dominated by men.She artfully discusses how her gender has affected every aspect of balancing her personal and professional life. . Her travelogue explores the exhilarating and demanding aspects of her job showcasing her risky adventures from being beaten, hiking long hours without water with sniper fire abounding, and her tragic kidnapping. The stories were interesting but I longed for more in depth examination of what she endured. There was little introspection and it felt more like a straight forward diary with very little soul searching.Perhaps that is the denial that allows her to function in such a demanding capricious world..

  23. 5 out of 5

    Olena Rosul

    * I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads (Giveaways). * This book is about a woman photographer who captured war and its consequences for civilians in many contries—Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, ans so on. It is not an easy reading. It is disturbing in many ways. But it is one of the books that must be written and must be read. Because on the very same planet we live, people DO keep killing each other in meaningless wars, and people DO keep suffering from famine, lack of cle * I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads (Giveaways). * This book is about a woman photographer who captured war and its consequences for civilians in many contries—Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, ans so on. It is not an easy reading. It is disturbing in many ways. But it is one of the books that must be written and must be read. Because on the very same planet we live, people DO keep killing each other in meaningless wars, and people DO keep suffering from famine, lack of clean water and diseases that doesn't exist any more in civilized word. Unless we know about this, we can't help. Unless we are reminded about it constantly, we might stop looking for solutions.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hank

    4.5 stars only because I am feeling stingy with my 5 star ratings. This is truly an excellent book! Memoirs, as most people know, can be hit or miss. Many (most?) lives aren't really that interesting and the authors need to stretch a bit to entertain. Addario's life fascinated me on two different fronts (pun intended). First, her fundamental nomadic and rootless nature was so foreign to my personality that it captivated me. How could anyone just pick up and move to Mexico, South America, Pakista 4.5 stars only because I am feeling stingy with my 5 star ratings. This is truly an excellent book! Memoirs, as most people know, can be hit or miss. Many (most?) lives aren't really that interesting and the authors need to stretch a bit to entertain. Addario's life fascinated me on two different fronts (pun intended). First, her fundamental nomadic and rootless nature was so foreign to my personality that it captivated me. How could anyone just pick up and move to Mexico, South America, Pakistan? And not just move but fly back and forth between very transient homes and significant others. It felt at first that Addario was chasing something but then it dawned on me that the chase was what she wanted. The whole world seemed like her home and the countries merely other familiar rooms to spend time in. The second fascinating part of her life is her passion for journalism and unbending belief that the world is constantly in need of good and accurate stories. I actually do love my job but it isn't my reason for living, unlike the feeling I got from this memoir. This is a story about a life I could never live, many small parts and reactions felt familiar but the overarching story was completely foreign, yet wonderful to vicariously experience.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    When I was in high school, I took a photography class. I began to see the world differently, and for a while, I entertained the idea of being a photojournalist, without really understanding what it meant. But I love National Geographic and I was saddened when Life stop producing a monthly publication. And why is this relevant? Because Addario's depiction of traveling the world and capturing the tumultuous landscape of war gives me a true sense of what life is like as a photojournalist. Addario's When I was in high school, I took a photography class. I began to see the world differently, and for a while, I entertained the idea of being a photojournalist, without really understanding what it meant. But I love National Geographic and I was saddened when Life stop producing a monthly publication. And why is this relevant? Because Addario's depiction of traveling the world and capturing the tumultuous landscape of war gives me a true sense of what life is like as a photojournalist. Addario's career is one that has taken her into some of the toughest wars in the last two decades. She has been a witness to atrocities yet there can be a slice of humanity that somehow rises from the detritus of murder and mayhem. I love that we get images interspersed throughout the book. Her photos transcend words. Addario reminds me of how powerful the lens can be when telling a story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    Wow. As someone who studied photography and for a brief period considering pursuing my own career as a war photographer- I'm in awe of the casual fearlessness Addario frequently displayed when obstacles and combatants got in the way of her job. More than once she describes her thought process when threatened or held hostage and after worrying about the stress her predicament is going to put on her family, her next concern is where her memory cards are and if her captors take her equipment she mu Wow. As someone who studied photography and for a brief period considering pursuing my own career as a war photographer- I'm in awe of the casual fearlessness Addario frequently displayed when obstacles and combatants got in the way of her job. More than once she describes her thought process when threatened or held hostage and after worrying about the stress her predicament is going to put on her family, her next concern is where her memory cards are and if her captors take her equipment she must above all save those cards and proof of all her work. I have so much respect for her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Lynn

    It's What I Do is being turned into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, directed by Steven Spielberg!!! Easily one of the best nonfiction books I've ever read! Lynsey's story immediately intrigued me, and I had a very hard time putting this book down. That doesn't happen a lot for me when it comes to the nonfiction genre, so I was very impressed with how well written this was and how interesting her life has been. Being a war photographer has absolutely no appeal to me personally. And Addario's boo It's What I Do is being turned into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, directed by Steven Spielberg!!! Easily one of the best nonfiction books I've ever read! Lynsey's story immediately intrigued me, and I had a very hard time putting this book down. That doesn't happen a lot for me when it comes to the nonfiction genre, so I was very impressed with how well written this was and how interesting her life has been. Being a war photographer has absolutely no appeal to me personally. And Addario's book made me want to have that job even less! But reading about it was a whole different story. I have nothing but a crazy amount of sincere respect for people who do this every day, because it sure takes a hell of a lot of guts and dedication. I'd never heard of Addario before picking up this book from the library, but her story was able to completely captivate me regardless of how interested in her I was before starting It's What I Do. I always love it when nonfiction books are able to successfully bring me to love them when I know little to nothing about the topic or the person beforehand. I do have a little bit of an interest in photography, so that was one of the reasons it initially caught my eye. And, wow, are the photographs in this book gorgeous. I love how they were included all throughout the book and how many were in there. I actually would've been fine with more, because I'm now a huge fan of her work, but that's not to say that there wasn't enough. I also really enjoyed being able to see how much Addario improved from the very first pictures she took to the incredible ones that were taken more recently. She spends a little bit of time talking about the difference between being a "breaking news" photographer and one who documents events more slowly for features and things like that. It's easy to see how that translates in her work...from the rushed, blurry, real photographs of war to the more beautiful and artistic documentation of events that are equally but differently able to inspire people to care about international issues. But although this book is, on the surface, about her job, at its heart Addario's story is much more about her life experiences rather than the technical aspects of simply photography. There is so much honesty here, and I really felt like I was able to immerse myself in her story and how hard it was to be constantly traveling and never having enough time for romantic relationships or family. Luckily, Addario's story has a happy ending. It was encouraging to be told that it apparently is possible to do this type of job and also have somewhat of a "normal life" as well. It has clearly never been easy for her, but I think that it sends a really important message for women that you do not always have to sacrifice your family for your career or vice versa. There are very many feminist messages like that throughout this book, as Addario manages to keep up with men and soldiers even as the going got tough. And we're talking tough. Wow. I was amazed by Addario's constant strength. I never would've been able to do what she's done...although it was very inspiring to think that it might be possible for other women who aren't me. I think that this would be a really great book to read as a high school senior. Although there are many themes throughout this book, one of the biggest ones is how, though hard work and determination, Addario was able to, with virtually no experience or money, ultimately become one of the best and most well-known war photographers in the world. She traveled the world throughout her 20s and 30s, had many whirlwind love affairs, gained maturity and knowledge...all with basically just a camera and a few power bars to keep her going. It's What I Do is a fantastic and empowering book that I very much enjoyed reading. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I want to thank Carol for bringing this book to my attention. It was fascinating to read the story of a female war photographer. I started college as photography major. With the confidence of a know-it-all 18-year-old, I was confident that I would lead an exciting life and travel to where the action was as a New York Times, Washington Post, AP or National Geographic photographer. Things did not turn out as I imagined, but that is a good thing. I have a great job that I love and photography is a w I want to thank Carol for bringing this book to my attention. It was fascinating to read the story of a female war photographer. I started college as photography major. With the confidence of a know-it-all 18-year-old, I was confident that I would lead an exciting life and travel to where the action was as a New York Times, Washington Post, AP or National Geographic photographer. Things did not turn out as I imagined, but that is a good thing. I have a great job that I love and photography is a wonderful hobby. Lynsey's autobiography is an interesting illustration of the years of hard and unglamorous work needed to develop skills and personal traits required to be a war photographer. The book is full of samples of her work. The images I found the most powerful were of women and children in the war zones of the Middle East and Africa. She has an incredible eye and brings a woman's touch to illustrating the civilians affected by these horrible conflicts. They are powerful images shot with great compassion and kindness. She feels it is her responsibility to fairly represent the forgotten victims. I enjoyed learning about her treatment as a woman in different situations and how, at times, she uses her sex to her advantage. This is not a profession for the thinned-skinned or easily offended. She talks about the strong relationships that are formed in hostile situations. She also fully represents the danger, fears and harsh realities of being behind the lines in a war zone with fighters that do not appreciate journalist, much less American journalists. I highly recommend this book if you ever had fantasies of being a war photographer or if you enjoy reading about strong women.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarju Shrestha Mehri

    What an amazing book. I love reading memoirs. The writer Lyndsey Addario , a war photo journalist not only shares her exquisite pictures but shares her experience as a woman who captured many stories of war in Afghanistan, Libya, Darfur, Iraq and culture of violence against women in Congo. Her drive to capture the effects of war up close and personal through her lenses is riveting. Each of her pictures tells the story of truth, honesty and clarity. As you read each chapter, you will be familiar w What an amazing book. I love reading memoirs. The writer Lyndsey Addario , a war photo journalist not only shares her exquisite pictures but shares her experience as a woman who captured many stories of war in Afghanistan, Libya, Darfur, Iraq and culture of violence against women in Congo. Her drive to capture the effects of war up close and personal through her lenses is riveting. Each of her pictures tells the story of truth, honesty and clarity. As you read each chapter, you will be familiar with some of her pictures published in NY times, National Geography and Time Magazine. She along with her fellow journalists were kidnapped twice, she was nearly killed, had bad car accident and almost raped but her calling to capture the moments in the dangerous field is admirable. Her selfless nature, her passion and dare devil energy have given a plethora of stories of war and people. Her cut through pictures have given our society the tyranny of war history. For decades of hopping assignments and sacrificing her personal life, she eventually finds a man in her life and yet she does not stop her assignments while she was pregnant. Her dedication to photo journalism is inspiring. She was accolade with MacArthur Fellowship and also recipient of Pulitzer Prize and many other awards. I am just mesmerized and deeply grateful for her work. 5.1 feet petite woman who was fascinated with camera at the age of 14 puts herself in the field of heat and captured the moment with unspoken words. She gave me a prospect of photo journalism at war and conflict and I will forever cherish that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Greg Davis

    Some describe memoirs as often narcissistic, maybe too liberal use of "I". But that's what they are, personal words about one's life, necessarily subjective. For me, I love them, mostly because I enjoy hearing people freely go on about themselves, what's important to them, how they see the world. To the point, this book was exceptional, in that Ms. Addario spent little time trying to present herself as anyone save who she is, a seasoned, successful professional, driven by an involuntary passion, Some describe memoirs as often narcissistic, maybe too liberal use of "I". But that's what they are, personal words about one's life, necessarily subjective. For me, I love them, mostly because I enjoy hearing people freely go on about themselves, what's important to them, how they see the world. To the point, this book was exceptional, in that Ms. Addario spent little time trying to present herself as anyone save who she is, a seasoned, successful professional, driven by an involuntary passion, and, yet, indisputably, a young girl in a big girl's body. This doesn't make her unique, just honest. It reminded me of something in an episode of Humans of New York, where the writer (paraphrased) states "I thought when I became an adult, all my issues would be resolved, but I later learned we don't necessarily grow up, but rather just grow old." One of the best lines of the book: "passion fades, looks fade, marry your best friend." Good advice.

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