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Lee Millerís War Edited by Antony Penrose Forward by E.Scherman, Published by Thames and Hudson www.thamesandhudson.com March 2005
Reviews

From: Gregory
Category: Books
Date: 29 March 2005

Review

First I thought of Simone de Beauvoirís The Mandarins because I have just been reading it, and how people move around together and so they are part of movements and wondered if this book might be interesting just because of that, because we are interested in famous people, and that this book would be nothing more invigorating that reading Heat/Hello etc. and we stare at them and wonder where their excellence lies, rather like her exhibition that is on at the National Portrait Gallery. Lists of activities and sights make for a fluid read similar to that of regular travel journalism, i.e. not great writing, though inherently more engaging as a world war is wont to be. These passages include references to the everyday- which, I suppose, are to heighten the sense of horror of what she reports. I found these did not enrich my understanding of the situations but left me irritated. The writing is glib and descriptive while the picture range from dull to beautiful/gruesome and one would imagine that the writer and photographer were different people experiencing different things, different places at different times. It has the distance and detail of a person in a foreign place, the plus point being that it is factual, not emotional, but the sheer pleasant-ness of the articles are somehow sickening. It is as if she has remained the society woman of EM Forster novels going out to make her Grand Tour of Europe taking the Baedeker guide to which she refers.

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