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Steichen at War by Christopher Phillips WWII Book 1987

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Product Description

Steichen at War

by Christopher Phillips

More than 200 photographs

Portland House • New York


In 1942, Edward Steichen - at sixty-two already a legendary figure in photography - tried to enlist in the United States Navy. Although his age raised a few eyebrows (and doubts), Steichen's potential contribution as a photographer was recognized. Rear Admiral Arthur W. Radford had the good sense to create for him the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, whose mission was to document the activities of the aircraft carriers, a relatively new weapon but one which Radford was convinced could win the war.

For the next four years, Steichen and his hand-picked crew of professional photographers - Wayne Miller, Horace Bristol, Victor Jorgensen, Fenno Jacobs, Barrett Gallagher, Charles Kerlee, and Paul Dorsey - joined the carriers recording the battles against the Japanese in the Pacific, as well as several ventures in the Atlantic. At Steichen's urging, they focused on the Sailor and showed the war close up, sending back to Washington countless rolls of film with powerful images - the launching of the torpedo-bombers, terrifying kamikaze attacks; young pilots debriefing after exhausting missions; deck and support crews on shipboard relaxing, exercising, preparing for action. Steichen edited their work, saw that it was printed to the highest standards, and released it to major magazines and newspapers.

Steichen himself went out for tours on the USS Lexington and other ships, and was on the Iwo Jima soon after the island was secured. His men were also on the island bases from which Marine pilots launched their crushing strikes; they were in Washington when FDR died, and photographed the tearful progress of his funeral cortege; they were in Tokyo when the gaunt but joyous American prisoners were released; and one of them was among the first photographers into the devastated city of Hiroshima at war's end.

Amazingly, this incredible photographic document - the 15,000 prints and negatives of Steichen's unit - virtually disappeared from view after the war, languishing in Washington among the half-million other general Navy pictures. Now, through the efforts of Christopher Phillips, a young photographic historian, the material has come to light again. And in this book are over 200 of the finest images made by Steichen and his men along with a lively text describing the formation and work of the unit, including firsthand accounts drawn from the extensive interviews with the surviving photographers.

Condition of Book:

This 12" x 9 1/4" hard back book is in excellent condition and has 256 pages. They are glossy and look clean. The binding is tight. The book cover looks good with very few minor dings. Any questions please send us an email before purchasing.

Any questions please email us prior to purchasing.

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