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December 2005/January 2006
Featured Photography Book

Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq by Thorne Anderson, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Kael Alford, Rita Leistner (New York: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005). $50 hardcover; $29.95 paperback. 176 pages.

Four photojournalists use the truth-telling lens of the camera to bring us closer to a conflict that has largely been reported from a distance. Unembedded virtually transports us into Iraqi hospitals, neighborhoods and homes. The topics range from tragic to mundane to alarming and brutal. The overall effect provides precious insight into the Iraqi experience and the U.S. soldiers who occupy their land. Unembedded is honest and rightfully upsetting.

The following is a sampling of Unembedded’s stunning images.—K.A.M.


Shoala, March 28, 2003
A father and his brothers mourn an eight-year-old girl killed when a U.S. missile landed in a busy market in a Shiite neighborhood north of Baghdad. The U.S. bombing lasted twenty-one days, making way for the U.S.-led coalition invasion.
Photo by Kael Alford. Courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishing

Rashad Psychiatric Hospital, Baghdad, April 15, 2004
Patients had few activities to occupy them. One was watching television, which included the Coalition Provisional Authority’s daily live broadcasts and updates to the press. On this day, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was fielding questions on how he proposed to address the rising insurgency, especially Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Myers underplayed the threat of the insurgents. A few months later the hospital grounds would shake from nearby bombs, and mortars would land in its courtyard as coalition forces fought the Mahdi Army right outside the hospital gates.
Photo by Rita Leistner. Courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishing
Sadr City, Baghdad, August 7, 2004.
Members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army take to the streets in rebellion against the interim Iraqi government and American military occupation.
Photo by Rita Leistner. Courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishing


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