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August 26 , 2008


Fifty Years at the Front Line of History


This book is a biography of Magnum, told largely in the words of its photographers. It offers a unique perspective on half a century of world history from an extraordinary group of men and women who were front line witnesses at virtually every major event in the last fifty years. Wars, famines, natural disasters, social, political and environmental crises - Magnum photographers were there. They have been acute observers of the human condition, photographing the richest people in the world, the poorest, the least known and the most celebrated, from Marilyn Monroe to Che Guevara, JFK to Nelson Mandela, Picasso to Krushchev. This is a multi-layered story. At one level, it tells how a small group of photographrs - among them Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and George Rodger - came together, established and nurtured a co-operative photographic agency that has survived against all the odds to become the most famous in the world. At a secondary level, it is the richly anecdotal story of the photographers themselves, their adventures around the world and their feelings about, and reactions to, their assignments.

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