“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” –Robert Capa
Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were young Jewish refugees, idealistic and in love. As photographers in the 1930s, they set off to capture their generation's most important struggle—the fight against fascism. Among the first to depict modern warfare, Capa, Taro, and their friend Chim took powerful photographs of the Spanish Civil War that went straight from the action to news magazines. They brought a human face to war with their iconic shots of a loving couple resting, a wary orphan, and, always, more and more refugees—people driven from their homes by bombs, guns, and planes.
Today, our screens are flooded with images from around the world. But Capa and Taro were pioneers, bringing home the crises and dramas of their time—and helping give birth to the idea of bearing witness through technology.
With a cast of characters ranging from Langston Hughes and George Orwell to Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, and packed with dramatic photos, posters, and cinematic magazine layouts, here is Capa and Taro’s riveting, tragic, and ultimately inspiring story.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
Collaborating as their subjects did, Aronson and Budhos (Sugar Changed the World) vividly and intimately recount the story of pioneering war photojournalists Robert Capa (1913 1954) and Gerda Taro (1910 1937). Writing in the present tense to heighten the sense of being there, the authors focus primarily on the period when the photographers' professional and personal lives were almost completely intertwined, from soon after their meeting in 1934 Paris to Taro's death in Spain three years later. Capa and Taro, Jewish immigrants with leftist leanings from Hungary and Germany, threw themselves into the Spanish Civil War with idealism, talent, intuition as photographers, and an exceptional willingness to take risks. Their photos whether of fleeing civilians, snipers, refugees, bombed buildings, or soldiers conveyed an immediacy never previously achieved and established a new standard for war reportage. The authors' analyses of the Capa-Taro relationship and the influence of their photographs on journalism are particularly strong; they conclude with the 2007 rediscovery of 4,500 negatives lost since the 1940s. Numerous reproductions of Capa and Taro's work appear throughout, along with maps, a timeline, and other resources. Ages 12 up.