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Posted November 9, 2005
Nina Berman is a fine journalist and photographer whose photographic art has been featured in Time, Newsweek, Fortune, New York Times Magazine, Harpers, Stern, and National Geographic magazines and in exhibitions. She has an unflinching eye for detecting the surface and the inner truth of her subjects. Nowhere is this more profoundly evident than in this brave monograph on those who have 'won' the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the Iraqi War. Berman's technical facility results in photographs that, while harrowing to ponder, find the truth in her subjects. Each of the soldiers presented here bear the physical scars (some extreme) of the various modes of war's instruments from gunshot wounds to roadside and suicide bombers that haunt the desert locales of Iraq, and each of the soldier's bear the mental scars (all extreme) that have accompanied the combat and terror of a war nobody wants and everybody condemns. Her photographs are accompanied by interviews with her subjects, soldiers who may have gone to war with delusions of heroism, of doing the right thing, but who crumple under the post-traumatic stress syndrome with lives wasted by the insatiable hunger of war. Stepping away from the focal point, Berman has given space to other writers who increase the impact of this book: essays from Verlyn Klinkenborg, a New York Times editorial page writer, and Tim Origer, a Vietnam Marine veteran who fought in the Tet offensive and returned at age 19, an amputee. These essays make the book timeless and not simply reportage about the current Iraq mistake. With Veterans Day approaching, this book is a powerful indictment against all war without allowing the sacrifices of the veterans to go unnoted. Highly Recommended. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.