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It's What I Do

A Photographer's Life of Love and War

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir."--Kirkus (starred review)

War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. It’s her work, but it’s much more than that: it’s her singular calling.

Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to set out across the world, face the chaos of crisis, and make a name for herself.

Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.

Addario takes bravery for granted but she is not fearless. She uses her fear and it creates empathy; it is that feeling, that empathy, that is essential to her work. We see this clearly on display as she interviews rape victims in the Congo, or photographs a fallen soldier with whom she had been embedded in Iraq, or documents the tragic lives of starving Somali children. Lynsey takes us there and we begin to understand how getting to the hard truth trumps fear.

As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boys’ club of a profession. Rather than choose between her personal life and her career, Addario learns to strike a necessary balance. In the man who will become her husband, she finds at last a real love to complement her work, not take away from it, and as a new mother, she gains an all the more intensely personal understanding of the fragility of life.

Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It’s What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 17, 2014 – Addario, a photojournalist, documentary photographer, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, and part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team for work on a magazine story about the Taliban, presents a highly readable and thoroughly engaging memoir of her experiences around world, documenting and filing photographs in hostile areas for some of the U.S.'s most well-known publications including the New York Times, National Geographic, Time magazine. She touches on aspects of her childhood and upbringing in Connecticut, but focuses mainly on her professional career and development as a photojournalist in the post-9/11 world. She describes her experiences in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, and elsewhere including being kidnapped three weeks into the Libyan uprising of 2011. Addario astutely addresses the difficulties of being a woman in a "brutally competitive," overwhelmingly male profession. She also articulates the passion that compels her and others to continue this difficult and dangerous work, while shedding light on the logistics, risks, and other considerations involved in documenting world events for newspapers and magazines. Addario's memoir brilliantly succeeds not only as a personal and professional narrative but also as an illuminating homage to photojournalism's role in documenting suffering and injustice, and its potential to influence public opinion and official policy. Photos.

Customer Reviews

It's What I Do

Amazing story by a driven photojournalist. Addario takes the reader on whirlwind travels in her work covering human suffering across the globe.

It's what I do

Excellent! Well written, captivating, chronology of the lifestyle of a conflict photographer, so driven by their desire to capture the real human story of the people who live and die surrounded by conflict! This biographical book encompasses the many times that Linsey Addario embedded herself into the lives and chronicled the fear, hatred, suffering, and bravery of people in war torn and ravaged countries. Ms Addario's story is told from her perspective as a woman unafraid of pushing the boundaries and testing herself as she captures some of the worlds most famous photos for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Reuters and other news agencies as a freelance photojournalist. I admire her work, dedication and her husband's selfless and unconditional love for this fascinating woman.

It's What She Does

I was simply touched by the genuineness of this story. I thought I was adventurous, but this woman has seen and done it all, with an open heart and an infinite appreciation of the himan condition.

It's What I Do
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 05, 2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings