The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence by Susie LinfieldThe Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence by Susie Linfield

The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence

bySusie Linfield

Paperback | April 15, 2012

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In The Cruel Radiance, Susie Linfield challenges the idea that photographs of political violence exploit their subjects and pander to the voyeuristic tendencies of their viewers. Instead she argues passionately that looking at such images—and learning to see the people in them—is an ethically and politically necessary act that connects us to our modern history of violence and probes the human capacity for cruelty. Grappling with critics from Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht to Susan Sontag and the postmoderns—and analyzing photographs from such events as the Holocaust, China’s Cultural Revolution, and recent terrorist acts—Linfield explores the complex connection between photojournalism and the rise of human rights ideals. In the book’s concluding section, she examines the indispensable work of Robert Capa, James Nachtwey, and Gilles Peress and asks how photography should respond to the increasingly nihilistic trajectory of modern warfare.
A bracing and unsettling book, The Cruel Radiance convincingly demonstrates that if we hope to alleviate political violence, we must first truly understand it—and to do that, we must begin to look.

Susie Linfield has been an editor for American Film, the Village Voice, and the WashingtonPost and has written for a wide range of publications including the Los AngelesTimes Book Review,the New York Times, Bookforum, the Village Voice, Aperture, Dissent, and the Nation. She is associate professor of journalism at New York University, ...
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Title:The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political ViolenceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:April 15, 2012Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226482510

ISBN - 13:9780226482514

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Reviews

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Preface: The Black Book

PART ONE: POLEMICS


1  A Little History of Photography Criticism; or, Why Do Photography Critics Hate Photography?

2  Photojournalism and Human Rights: The Calamity of the Kodak


PART TWO: PLACES


3  Warsaw, Lodz, Auschwitz: In the Waiting Room of Death

4  China: From Malraux’s Dignity to the Red Guards’ Shame

5  Sierra Leone: Beyond the Sorrow and the Pity

6  Abu Ghraib and the Jihad: The Dance of Civilizations


PART THREE: PEOPLE


7  Robert Capa: The Optimist

8  James Nachtwey: The Catastrophist

9  Gilles Peress: The Skeptic


Acknowledgments 

Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism