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Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were young Jewish refugees, idealistic and in love. As photographers, they set off to capture their generation's most important struggle—the fight against Fascism. Among the first to depict modern warfare, Capa and Taro took powerful photographs of the Spanish Civil War that went straight from the devastation to news magazines. In so doing, they ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  157 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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The passion raises it to over 4 stars but the odd style of writing lowers it to 3 stars, or a bit more. For some reason, even though this is history that would be today's teens great grandparents' time, it is told in the present tense. Occasionally it produces really awkward and somewhat confusing sentences. The authors do a wonderful job explaining the extremely confusing Spanish Civil War. Capa and Taro and their friend Chim and a few others basically invented photojournalism. Since the photos ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A friend and I have been privileged to have watched some of the creation of this incredible book from the beginning. I was able to read it in very rough draft form, in manuscript and now in galley. The finished book publishes this month. It has been wonderful to watch the ideas turn into book form.

I've long been fascinated by several of the subjects explored in the book: the birth of photojournalism as we have known it in the past 70 years, the brilliant Robert Capa and the story of the D-Day pi
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is cataloged as teen in my library and I'd say its subject matter is aimed around the older teen/high school ages. The first-person style definitely made this read more as a story which appeals to a teen audience, but adults can also absolutely benefit from this story. This is educational about the Spanish Civil War in general, life for civilians during that time, and the incredibly dangerous lengths Robert Capa and Gerda Taro went to in order to photograph modern warfare. The photographs i ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A non-fiction account of two photojournalists and their coverage of wars changed American journalism.

The book begins with a bit of background on both Capa and Taro, but the majority of it focuses on their work during the Spanish Civil War, a period in history that I don't know much about. I always appreciate books written for children (or young adults) that can put a time period into perspective in a succinct yet inclusive way. This is that kind of a book.

It would take the right kind of young a
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fascination look at the lives of two talented and fearless photographers who great into their roles as they became embroiled in the Spanish Civil War and attempted to bring to the rest of the world a record of the terrible impact of the war on civilians and fighters. The change in how photographs were used and the role of photographers is an important part of this book as is the description of how a woman worked hard to keep her own identity and develop her own talent while in a close personal ...more
Edward Sullivan
As one would expect of authors Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, this is a superb collaboration. The authors recount a terrible time in history, the Spanish Civil War, as captured in the extraordinary work of photojournalists Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. A compelling, vividly told, and provocative story of idealism, heroism, tragedy, love, and death, and populated with fascinating characters like Ernest Hemingway, Paul Robeson, George Orwell, and Frederico Garcia Lorca.
Christine Fitzgerald
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great informational book on the best two photojournalists whom were also in love. Captivating pictures of a time of heartbreak and victory! Great pair text for any fiction related to WWII.
BJ  Brown
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I learned a great about the Spanish Civil War (yet one more lacunae in my 1970s public school education) and appreciated the focus on Capa and Taro as collaborators mastering a new medium. But I was struck throughout by a mis-match between the book's critical approach to a complex subject and the mid-elementary-school reading level of the writing--which may put off slightly older readers able to wrestle with the significance of the photographers' experience.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
What an interesting look into the lives of Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. I have always been interested in history and this sold me when I realized that Capa was the photographer who shot the well known D-Day photos. Great look into the events leading up to WWII, Spanish War and the rise of photojournalism. I will say at times it was a little dry but the photos and the story behind the Capa and Taro's romance and sad end was well worth reading.
Becky B
In the mid 1930s, two young adult Jewish refugees met in Paris, France, André Friedmann and Gerta Pohorylle. André was trying to make a living as a photographer, one of the few jobs open to refugees in Paris. Gerta managed to land a job with a photography clearing house that sells photos to publications. As the two fell in love and started trying to work together to make ends meet, Gerta decided they should remake themselves. With the growing anti-Semitism in Europe, Gerta changes their names to ...more
WOW! As another reviewer mentioned, reading this book about two talented photojournalists actually helped me understand more about the Spanish Civil War than I had before. It isn't covered in most history classes today, and when I attended high school, it didn't even get a mention in the texts or class discussions. The conflict of those times serves as a backdrop for the budding careers of Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, among others. Just as these two invented their professional names and supported ...more
Kristi Starr
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
"This is what will distinguish [Capa's] work and that of his circle in the years to come. As big movements and big ideas sweep the streets, the entire continent of Europe, he homes in on what it means to be human during such momentous times. He is beginning to tell a story. A story in pictures" (p. 33).

Eyes of the World is several stories in one. It tells the story of the birth of modern photojournalism. It relates the romance of Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, two young people caught in up changin
Shauna Yusko
It might be a little long for the average nonfiction browser, but wow, what a story. For journalism classes, world history, AP class reference.
Amy Formanski Duffy
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the 1930s, Jewish refugees Gerda Taro and Robert Capa sold their stunning photographs of the Spanish Civil War to the newly founded weekly news magazines and created a new form of journalism. Much like social media today, they used the latest technology to spread images across the world that changed people’s political opinions.
The story is compelling, but sort of lags a bit in the middle. It’s very thoroughly researched. The extensive back matter includes appendixes that explain different po
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: evaluations-tba
Loved that this read like a personal story but was jam packed with interesting information. The story blends the history of film along with historical facts. A good read.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Aronson, Marc and Marina Budhos Eyes of the World : Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and the invention of Modern Photojournalism, 294 pgs. NON-FICTION. Henry Holt (Macmillan), 2017. $23. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.

Hungarian Andre Friedmann and German Gerta Pohorylle met in Paris in the mid-1930’s. They changed their names to Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, to help hide their cultural background, and to get a contract with a magazine. They headed to Spain to cover the Spanish Civi
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent if not a bit too lengthy. The book with all of its b/w photos and heavy text is heavy in weight, too. Has a detailed appendix, epilogue, end notes, image credits. Students may not know much about the Spanish Civil War but will be interested in how photojournalism got started.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hungarian Andre Friedmann and German Gerta Pohorylle met in Paris in the mid-1930’s. They changed their names to Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, to help hide their cultural background, and to get a contract with a magazine. They headed to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War as photojournalists. On their way to the front, they photographed the people of Spain, many of them peasants still living in what looks like the middle ages, using ancient tools to farm the way their ancestors did. Interspersed ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing nonfiction book about the Spanish Civil War and the dawn of photojournalism, told through the life stories of the two important photographers who in documenting the former invented the latter. Also a love story and a book about the beauty of collaboration. Fantastic! I studied photography a little in college, but I am sad that I'd never heard of Gerda Taro before. Perhaps I'd just forgotten what I once knew about her, but it can't have been much because everything I read in this book was ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Robert and Cornell Capa (along with their mother) are buried in my Meeting's cemetery, and I've been involved in creating some signage explaining who they were and why they're there. So a book about him and his contribution to our understanding of war? Yes, please. The Spanish Civil War is one of those "I think I understand it... but it's incredibly confusing" events, and this book does a decent job of explaining the various factions and what happened. For that, two stars.

However the book itsel
Brian Page
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos is a rather strange dual biography. It’s written at a middle school reading level and is, shall we say, “sanitized” in describing the lifestyles & relationship of Taro and Capa. It’s also written in the present tense. At first I thought it might be a poor translation but there is no indication that this is a translated work. In my opinion the content is also flawed by the ...more
R. G. Nairam
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize until reading the afterward(s) that this book was the product of the same couple who wrote /Sugar Changed the World/. Knowing that, I can see some of the similarities--moralizing still a bit intact, but definitely not insufferable this time--but mostly I'm surprised and happy at how much /more/ I liked this one.

One of my favorite aspects is not only did I get the stories of Robert Capa and Gerda Taro and their photojournalism, but the conflicts that this photojournalism was born
Thank you Chicago Public Library. As I searched for another title (fiction), I somehow came across this interesting work. Already slightly familiar with Capa and Taro peripherally via their work on the Spanish War, I was interested to see how their life and work was seen today.

Unfortunately, neither was much for keeping a journal or having extensive correspondence, so the information is rather bare. Their lives were much more about their work and their work broke new ground for realism and being
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I was looking for more on photojournalism and less on the history of the Spanish Civil War. I understand that a history is necessary, as I didn't know much about the war either, but I thought there was more than necessary in the book. Aronson used the war as the framework for the story and I guess I wished that the pictures had been the framework. There were multiple times when he talked about how Taro and Capa had taken pictures of the same scene from different angles but the pictures weren't ...more
Erik Caswell
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ritba-2019
even as someone with a big interest in political history I found myself skimming. there were tons of valuable nuggets and I find the whole context of this development of photojournalism super fascinating and I'm happy to have some of this info. also frames recent unrest in spain over catalonian independence to some degree, or at least gives me a backdrop of history that I hadn't known. anarchism leftist movements fighting for some other way forward than statist oppression.

all that being said. it
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, well-written book that inspired me into doing a lot of Internet dives to get more information on background topics not directly related to subject at hand. This book mostly stuck to the facts, although it did get carried away with lyrical prose about one or two of the topics covered. I also wish the book would have given me a little more information on Chim, since he went to many of the same places Capa and Taro went on their photo assignments, and had the same career trajectory. ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism was phenomenal! I'm not usually a big nonfiction reader, but I was captivated in just the first few pages. It has an engaging narrative style that engrosses you in the story of how Robert Capa and Gerda Taro changed the face of photojournalism and made names for themselves with their intense coverage of the Spanish Civil War. Cannot recommend highly enough!
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Photojournalism and its importance in presenting a story visually is captured in this work about the life of Robert Capa. Not only are the graphics outstanding but the detail that Aronson delves into the Spanish Civil War offers insight to a very complicated and overlooked historical event. In addition he ties that conflict and its interference from Russia and Germany with the current Syrian tragedy. I would recommend this book to Spanish, History and Journalism teachers at the middle school and ...more
Ezra Peace
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
I read this as part of my research for a writing project, a commission for a script for a bio-pic about Capa and Taro. Informative read, and we'll written. Not just the facts, but insights into the period and psychology behind the facts. Recommended for anyone interested in really getting to know the Capa story.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! Another book that I would have never read if not for our nonfiction challenge. This book politely explained to me that I knew almost nothing about the Spanish Civil War even though I've read some Hemingway. (It's complicated, but I think I understand the basics now.) The photojournalism history is significant and the focus on Capa and Taro provided a story that made me care.
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Spring 2019, Wild...: Christein Weigum's Book 6 Review 1 2 Mar 29, 2019 12:56PM  

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Aronson has won many awards for his books for young readers and has a doctorate in American history. His lectures cover educational topics such as mysteries and controversies in American history, teenagers and their reading, the literary passions of boys, and always leave audiences asking for more.
“Socialists, communists, fascists all believe in an ever stronger government. Anarchists think just the opposite. They want to eliminate central government entirely so that people would live in small collectives where their voices could be heard and where all would work together for the good of all.” 0 likes
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