Eyes of the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

The book I read for my teen book review was Eyes of the World, by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos. It is a nonfiction book about Robert Capa ( who’s real name is Andre Friedman) and Gerda Taro (who’s real name is Gerta Pohorylle). Both of them are jewish photojournalists, who are most famous for their work in the Spanish Civil War.

Andre was born in Budapest, Hungary. As a child he always faced discrimination for being Jewish. When Andre got older, an anti Semitic dictator had become in charge of Hungary. When Andre had gotten in trouble for participating in illegal leftist protests he was sent to jail. But through a connection between the wife of the police chief and Andre’s mother, Andre was sent free and ended up in Germany. In 1933, when Hitler became chancellor of Germany, Andre fled to Paris, due to Hitler not allowing Jewish people to have jobs. While in Paris, Andre meets Ruth Cerf, who he asks to pose for pictures he can then sell. While there he meets her beautiful friend named Gerta Pohorylle.

Gerta was born in Stuttgart, Germany to a Jewish grocer. She was privileged enough to wear nice clothes, go to a girls school and play tennis. In 1929, when her family moved to Leipzig, she became more involved in politics and joined the socialist workers party. She participated in anti-Nazi activities. When her brothers fled into hiding for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, Gerta was arrested to pressure the family. After she was released, she left Germany.

Soon after meeting, Andre and Gerta fall in love, and they both get jobs. Gerta helps distribute photographs to newspapers and magazines, and Andre takes the photographs and sells them to Gerta’s boss. To get more photography jobs, Gerta pretends she is selling photos of Robert Capa, which becomes Andre’s new name. Gerta also changes her name to Gerda Taro.

At the time Europe was debating whether to be fascist or communist. The great depression across the world lowered everyone’s trust in capitalism. In Spain, the Communist government was being threatened by fascist rebels, led by Francisco Franco.

In Spain, Capa and Taro made a name for themselves. They witnessed the bombings in Madrid, the flow of refugees, soldiers being shot in battlefield, the battle in Malaga. They both leaned towards the communist side and didn’t hope for Franco to win. But in the end, Franco won. They became famous for their photos not just showing war but showing the effects the war had on normal people. Capa became famous for a particular picture called the fallen soldier. Along the way, they met another photographer named Chim, who also had many famous photos.

Out of 10 I rate this book a solid 8. Although it was good and taught me a lot, it would sometimes be kind of dull and not as engaging as other parts. I would recommend it it my friends who like history and are intrigued by the Spanish Civil War.Submitted by N. A. 

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