"Many of George Rodger’s images contribute to our collective memory: the London Blitz, Bergen-Belsen, Paris the day after liberation. And George recorded the magnificent Nuba tribe long before Leni Riefenstahl and with infinitely more humanity. George Rodger belongs to the great tradition of explorers and adventurers. His work is a moving testimony through time and space."—Henri Cartier-Bresson
"I knew George Rodger for over forty years but did not really break through to the personality of the reserved Scotsman. But this book does that extremely well. It adds to our canon of war photography and enriches our understanding of an important photographer’s life’s work."—Eve Arnold, the first American woman to join Magnum Photos
He was a trailblazing twentieth-century British photojournalist but George Rodger lived in the adventurous tradition of nineteenth-century explorers. Cofounding Magnum Photos in 1947 with Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, the modest Rodger was eclipsed by his partnersuntil now.
Rodger’s Indiana Jones-style escapades are legendary and worth the telling. He once covered over 75,000 miles of “old Africa” in a Land Rover. He even survived a white rhino charge. He went on to become a key photographer of African tribal life. During World War II he covered sixty-one countries for Life magazine. He was chased through three hundred miles of Burmese jungles by both the Japanese army and a tribe of headhunters. And he was the first to record the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He quit photography when he realized he was arranging “thousands of Jewish corpses in nice photographic compositions.”
In fascinating detail Carol Naggar not only recalls Roger’s singular life and artistic contribution, but she also provides an in-depth look at the complex dynamics of ethics, violence, and photojournalism. As such, it places the legacy of George Rodger within a broader sociohistorical context.
Carole Naggar is the author of five books and wrote the lead essay for the award-winning work Mexico Through Foreign Eyes: Photographs 1850-1990.
6.125 x 9.25, 256 pages, 31 black and white illustrations