Danger Pay: Memoir of a Photojournalist in the Middle East, 1984-1994

Hardcover | November 1, 2008

byCarol Spencer MitchellEditorEllen Spencer Susman

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"You're going where?" Carol Spencer Mitchell's father demanded as she set off in 1984 to cover the Middle East as a photojournalist for Newsweek and other publications. In this intensely thoughtful memoir, Spencer Mitchell probes the motivations that impelled her, a single, Jewish woman, to document the turmoil roiling the Arab world in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as how her experiences as a photojournalist "compelled [me] to set aside [my] cameras and reexamine the way images are created, scenes are framed, and how 'real life' is packaged for specific news stories."

In Danger Pay, Spencer Mitchell takes us on a harrowing journey to PLO military training camps for Palestinian children and to refugee camps in the Gaza Strip before, during, and after the first intifada. Through her eyes, we experience the media frenzy surrounding the 1985 hijackings of TWA Flight #847 and the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro. We meet Middle Eastern leaders, in particular Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan, with whom Spencer Mitchell developed close working relationships. And we witness Spencer Mitchell's growing conviction that the Western media's portrayal of conflicts in the Middle East actually helps to fuel those conflicts—a conviction that eventually, as she says, "shattered my career."

Although the events that Spencer Mitchell records took place a generation ago, their repercussions reverberate in the conflicts going on in the Middle East today. Likewise, her concern about "the triumph of image over reality" takes on greater urgency as our knowledge of the world becomes ever more filtered by virtual media.

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"You're going where?" Carol Spencer Mitchell's father demanded as she set off in 1984 to cover the Middle East as a photojournalist for Newsweek and other publications. In this intensely thoughtful memoir, Spencer Mitchell probes the motivations that impelled her, a single, Jewish woman, to document the turmoil roiling the Arab world i...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:215 pages, 9.34 × 6.26 × 0.89 inPublished:November 1, 2008Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292718829

ISBN - 13:9780292718821

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Table of Contents

ForewordAcknowledgmentsProloguePart I: There's a New Kid in Town1. The Burning Bush2. Reorienting3. Crossing the Bridge4. Ode to Abu Ammar5. Gaza Slick6. Photo Op7. A Room with a ViewPart II: The Moment and the Mask1. His Majesty2. Let's Get Some Color3. House of Hashem4. Up, Up, and Away5. Private Conversations (I)Part III: Passing Through1. TWA Flight #8472. Exile3. Cruising4. Caviar, Khat, and Cover PixPart IV: Inside Terror, Inc.1. Dance into Darkness2. Journalists Are Used to Danger3. He Who Builds4. Private Conversations (II)5. Promise Me I Won't Be Touched6. LebanonPart V: Travels in Sudan1. Sorry, All Lines Are Jammed2. Wau (Wow!)3. I Don't Know What I'm Feeling4. You Need Something to Peg the Story OnPart VI: The Striptease1. Everybody Must Get Stoned2. Photo-Realism, the "Real" Picture, and the Ingathering3. The StripteasePart VII: The Mother of All Battles1. What the Hell Am I Doing?2. The Sealed Room3. The Striptease, Take 2Epilogue1. The Old Man2. War on Another Front

Editorial Reviews

A deeply felt and moving account from an enterprising and conscientious news photographer who worked the always busy beat of the Middle East in the last, great days of film photography. - Rod Nordland, Chief Foreign Correspondent, Newsweek