This project and book would never have taken shape without the help and
guidance of numerous friends and colleagues, but it is my wife, Marvi Lacar,
who deserves the most thanks. She is my love, my muse, my spellcheck; most
things in my life would never be accomplished without her.
To my mother, Deborah, who dragged me to art museums throughout my life,
who opened my creative mind—this project was inspired by her curiosity.
I also want to thank, for their guidance and friendship, and in no particular
order: Ken Cedeno, James Bareham, James Pomerantz, Yoni Brook, Logan
Mock-Bunting, Michael Brown, Emily Schiffer, Lauren Steel, Peter van Agtmael,
Christoph Bangert, Johan Spanner, Ron Haviv, Christopher Morris, Jared
Moossy, Michael Kamber, Doug Menuez, Leslie Dela-Vega, Shaul Schwarz, Rick
Loomis, Thibault Jeanson, David Laidler, and Stephen Farrell.
For showing their support and championing this work: Kira Pollack, Kathy
Ryan, Aidan Sullivan, Stephen Mayes, Elisabeth Biondi, Christina Cahill,
Nick Papadopoulos, Alina Grosman, Annick Shen, Dominique Viger, Nancy Jo
Johnson, Scott Thode, Whitney Johnson, Stokes Young, James Estrin, Quito
Ziegler and everyone at the Open Society Institute, Darren Ching, Debra
Klomp Ching, David Friend, Chiara Oggioni Tiepolo, Dietmar Liz-Lepiorz, Ken
Lieberman, Stacey Clarkson, Elie Domit, the Houston Center for Photography,
the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern.
To Brian Storm, James Colburn, and former Time editors Michele Stephenson,
MaryAnne Golon, and Alice Gabriner for taking a chance and giving me my ﬁrst
assignments in Iraq. I would also like to thank The New York Times and The New York
Times Magazine, for whom I was working when most of these images were made.
A special thanks goes to Jamie Wellford of Newsweek and Mia Diehl of
Fortune for their mentorship and friendship over the years.
I also must thank Michael Gordon of The New York Times, who spent hours
riding in Humvees with me across Iraq, and who wrote many of the articles that
accompanied my images. He was an invaluable companion through some of my
worst experiences of war.
Thanks also to Lynne Honickman at the Honickman Foundation and Tom
Rankin at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, who direct
the institutions that sponsor the First Book Prize, and to the staff at Duke
University Press, the publisher of the book.
To designer Yolanda Cuomo and editor Alexa Dilworth for helping me ﬁnally
pull this book together.
To my best friend and fellow photographer, David Holloway, who kept me
shooting and kept me sane.
And of course, to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces,
who sacriﬁce to serve. I hope my images, in some way, reflect their experiences.