12 April 2013

Beyond Bullets : A Photo Journal of Afghanistan by Rafal Gerszak with Dawn Hunter

Many could not understand why Rafal Gerszak would actually want to volunteer to tag along with the American military in war-torn Afghanistan, let alone insist on returning to the country to live among its citizens, unprotected by any official organization. But, the author's photographs display pretty clearly the connections that kept (and continue to keep) bringing his mind and heart back to the Afghan people.

The first part of this photo-journal offer an inside look at the life of an American soldier in Afghanistan, with notes from the author and his comrades about life on the front lines, as well as the downtime filled with laughter, frivolity, and -- always -- fear. The second half of the book represents the time that the author spent living in Afghanistan as a civilian, showing both the side of war and destruction, as well as the beauty of the land, the culture, and the people of the country.

This cross-section of war and hope in an almost completely devastated country is a heartbreak and an inspiration, and is certainly recommended to all readers.
Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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