It's What I Do: Book summary and reviews of It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario

It's What I Do

A Photographer's Life of Love and War

by Lynsey Addario

It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario X
It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2015
    384 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

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 in photography a way to travel with a purpose, and It's What I Do is the story of that singular calling - how it shapes and drives her life and how it changes the lives of others. She captures virtually every major theater of war of the twenty-first century and from it creates a historical document of truth on the international conflicts that have made, and remade, our world. She photographs the Afghan people before and after Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and the countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting inside story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.

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 profession, 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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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific." - Kirkus

"Addario's memoir brilliantly succeeds not only as a personal and professional narrative but also as an illuminating homage to photojournalism's role in documenting suffering and injustice, and its potential to influence public opinion and official policy." - Publishers Weekly

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Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time magazine. She has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and the Congo, and has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.

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