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Seeing the War
The Stories behind the Famous Photographs of World War II
David P. Colley

2015 • 192 pp. 90 illus. 7 x 10"
World War II / Military Pictorial History / 20th Century U.S. History

$24.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-726-2

“A welcome homage to unsung individuals . . . who risked their lives during World War II. . . . David Colley has performed a valuable service in researching and gathering... [continued in Reviews below]”—Michigan War Studies Review

The dramatic stories behind some of the war’s best-known photos

The faces in photographs of World War II—both the famous pictures from Life magazine and the seldom-seen snapshots of individual soldiers, sailors, and correspondents—have a unique capacity to induce awe, respect, and wonder. Who were these men and women? Did they survive the war? And, if so, what were their lives like?

Author and Vietnam-era veteran David P. Colley has been researching the subjects of World War II photographs for more than twenty years. As he explains, “I find the pursuit of the soldiers in World War II photographs illuminating. We never stop and ask about the toll of war or what happened to the men afterward. Many were killed or wounded or suffered deep psychological scars. The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of that war. It will undoubtedly be one of the last times this nation honors its living World War II veterans. Soon they will be no more and the war mostly forgotten. It already is ancient history to the majority of Americans. But the images of those veterans, depicted in photographs, bring alive those momentous years and enshrine the soldiers in our history and our imaginations.” In Seeing the War, Colley revisits more than a hundred of the most revealing photographs of World War II.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“A welcome homage to unsung individuals . . . who risked their lives during World War II. . . . David Colley has performed a valuable service in researching and gathering material before it was too late; this includes oral histories of photographers, the men and women they photographed, and their relevant friends and families.” —Michigan War Studies Review

"When we look at the millions of photographs of serving men and women who took part in the various theatres of the Second World War (or any modern war, for that matter), it's easy to forget that there was a photographer there to take the shots. Colley's book redresses the balance and puts the whole thing into a different perspective, reminding us that these men were also present when the shots were taken. Colley’s choice of 100 telling photographs from WWII is inspired and illuminating.”
Books Monthly

“Fascinating reading, especially if you like your historical biographies with a splash of investigative journalism.” —History at War

“Mr. Colley insures his subjects are not made into one-dimensional caricatures of their true selves. He does them justice by letting them become bigger than just a photograph, however dramatic, and this aspect is vital to making this book believable.” —War History Online

DAVID P. COLLEY is the author of three previous books on World War II—The Road to Victory, Blood for Dignity, and Decision at Strasbourg—and of Prospect Park: Olmsted’s Brooklyn Masterpiece. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:14:51 -0500