Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa

Alex Kershaw, Author Thomas Dunne Books $25.95 (298p) ISBN 978-0-312-31564-1
Robert Capa was the archetype of the intrepid war photographer. Asserting that""if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough,"" Capa braved combat in the Spanish Civil War, hit Omaha Beach in the first wave on D-Day, and jumped behind German lines with American paratroopers, returning with visceral pictures--like the famous (and possibly staged)""falling soldier"" photo of a Spanish Republican militiaman who had just been shot--that defined our idea of what modern war looks like.""Profligate, passionate, impulsive,"" Capa was a ladies' man who liked nice togs, hobnobbed with the rich and famous, got caught up in anti-Fascist and Popular Front politics, and played poker compulsively when he was not risking his life in combat--in other words, he practically invented the persona of the celebrity photojournalist. He also co-founded the pioneering Magnum photo agency, which gave freelance photographers ownership and control of their photos. Journalist Kershaw gives an engrossing account of Capa's impossibly romantic life, elegantly evoking both the horror of the front lines and the glamour of wartime Madrid, London and Paris, where Capa befriended the likes of Ernest Hemingway and romanced the likes of Ingrid Bergman. Packed with arresting anecdotes and character studies, Kershaw's biography is a worthy companion to Capa's work. Photos.
Reviewed on: 07/01/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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