In this powerful, evocative, and moving collection of images--many never-before published--Platon, one of the most acclaimed contemporary photographers, focuses on the effects of war on soldiers and their families. Having created over 25 Time magazine covers and succeeding Richard Avedon as a staff photographer for the New Yorker, Platon has become a household name. His evocative portraits of world leaders comprised a hugely successful previous book, Power. Now Platon has turned his lens to military service, embedding himself outside the battlefield in places where so much occurs that is so rarely mentioned. Given unprecedented access to U.S. military training facilities, Platon photographed soldiers preparing for battle in a staged Iraqi village. Aboard the USS San Antonio, he photographed soldiers the moment before they set sail. Platon's images capture both joy and grief, strength and vulnerability, support and dissent: a young man's t-shirt that reads "Iraq veteran against the war"; an African American woman stands proudly in full military regalia; a double-amputee stares directly from his wheelchair; and, in arguably the most important image of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, an American Muslim mother cradles the grave of her soldier son. Together, these photographs speak volumes about the lives and families of those who fight: their physical and psychological wounds, their extraordinary valor and often modest backgrounds, and the fierce emotions that surround their service.
"Platon, a master of minimalist studio portraiture, doesn t think of himself as a photojournalist. He considers a portrait session an 'event' in which subjects pose as 'a demonstration of their existence' and experience. His 'charming and seductive' nature, Biondi notes in the book s introduction, helps his subjects open up in front of the camera."
"The book results from a project that began back in 2008, an assignment Platon took on after he was appointed as Richard Avedon's successor as staff photographer at the "New Yorker" . . . First, he spent time with troops while they trained in a simulated Iraqi village at the U.S. Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert, before they were deployed. Then he waited for them to return. When it was possible, he photographed them again or the loved ones who survived them."
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