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January 29, 2008

David Rubinger, Israel Through My Lens

The Stirring Autobiography of Israel’s Preeminent Photojournalist

(c) David Rubinger / Abbeville Press, 2008

"As a photographer, David Rubinger has captured some of the most powerful images of his time. No one has done a better job of showing the history of Israel in all its glory and pain. The stories behind those photographs and the people he has met are utterly captivating, but as it turns out, no story is more fascinating—or more poignant—than that of his own life.”Jim Kelly, Managing Editor of Time, Inc. Today, photojournalist DAVID RUBINGER stands at the peak of his profession. A winner of the Israel Prize for services to the media and a fixture on the masthead of Time magazine, he is the only photographer whose work is on permanent display at the Knesset, Israel’s legislature. ISRAEL THROUGH MY LENS: Sixty Years as a Photojournalist is the illustrated autobiography of this accomplished photojournalist, written in a conversational and immediate tone that captures the drama of his life and times. David Rubinger and his coauthor Ruth Corman, a British photographer and curator, report his gripping life story in this fascinating volume, which in many ways reflects the history of Israel that he has recorded so faithfully with his camera. Born in Vienna in 1924, he emigrated to British Palestine in 1939 and developed a passion for photography while serving in the British army’s Jewish Brigade. After fighting in Israel’s War of Independence, he became a professional news photographer, reporting on each of his young nation’s subsequent wars from the front lines, first for the Israeli media and later as a correspondent for Time–Life. With a foreword by Shimon Peres, current president and former prime minister of Israel, ISRAEL THROUGH MY LENS comprises a chronological narrative of Rubinger’s life and the stories he covered. Rubinger has photographed all of Israel’s leaders, many of whom have allowed him a remarkable degree of access to their lives. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “I trust Rubinger even though I know he doesn’t vote for me.” But Rubinger has not confined his reporting to war and politics; by photographing the successive waves of Jewish immigrants from Europe, the Arab world, Russia, and Ethiopia, he has also created a valuable record of Israel’s transformation from a country of six hundred thousand to one of seven million. In recounting his eventful career, Rubinger proves himself a gifted raconteur, sharing anecdotes of the many personalities he has photographed and telling the stories behind his most famous pictures, many of which are reproduced here at full-page size. The 130 photographs in the book include not only his best news photos but also hitherto unpublished shots from his family album that let us see behind the scenes of a photojournalist’s work. With ISRAEL THROUGH MY LENS’s 7-by-10 inch trim, the book is small enough to carry with you and read, but big enough to show off Rubinger’s pictures to good effect. Over the course of Rubinger’s career, which he spent mostly with Time and Life magazines, he personally witnessed nearly every important event in his country’s history, from the Suez Crisis to the Intifadas, and knew all of its leaders, from David Ben-Gurion to Ehud Olmert. ISRAEL THROUGH MY LENS is as much a firsthand account of Israel’s history as it is a memoir of an important journalist’s career, and its publication should be welcomed by everyone with an interest in photojournalism or the history of Israel. RUTH CORMAN, the coauthor, is a London-based photographer, art consultant, and curator, as well as the former director of the British Israel Arts Foundation. She has organized many exhibitions in Britain and Israel, including two shows of David Rubinger’s photography. Table of Contents from Israel through My Lens, by David Rubinger with Ruth Corman Foreword by Shimon Peres 1. How It All Began 2. The Early Years in Europe 3. Leaving for Eretz 4. A Soldier for King George 5. The Marriage 6. My First Love Affair—with the Camera 7. Married Life and Becoming an Israeli 8. After the War of Independence 9. My Career Begins 10. Haolam Hazeh 11. Home Life 12. Yedioth Ahronoth 13. Ben-Gurion 14. Immigration 15. My Beginning with Time-Life 16. The Sinai War 17. Taking to the Skies 18. Papal Visits 19. Teddy Kollek 20. The Six Day War and After 21. The War of Attrition 22. The Yom Kippur War 23. Sadat and Begin 24. Air Power Stories 25. Becoming an Austrian Citizen—Again 26. Immigration from Russia and Ethiopia 27. Football and the Lebanon War 28. Rubber Bullet 29. The Second Intifada and the Settlements 30. Some Special People 31. Travels Abroad with My Camera 32. My Life in the Movies 33. Influences on My Career 34. My Archives 35. House and Home 36. My Marriage to Anni 37. The Evening of My Life 38. The Renaissance Afterword and Acknowledgments by Ruth Corman Chronology Index ISRAEL THROUGH MY LENS: Sixty Years as a Photojournalist By David Rubinger with Ruth Corman Foreword by Shimon Peres Abbeville Press, New York January 2008 336 pages - 130 illustrations, 43 in full color $35.00 cloth ISBN 978-0-7892-0928-3 Also published by Abbeville Press: IN A DESERT LAND Photographs of Israel, Egypt, and Jordan Text and photography by Neil Folberg Abbeville Press, New York 204 pages - 200 full-color illustrations $49.95 cloth ISBN 978-0-7892-0125-6 PHOTOJOURNALISM 1855 TO THE PRESENT: EDITOR’S CHOICE By Reuel Golden Abbeville Press, New York 256 pages - 250 illustrations, 64 in full color $45.00 hardcover ISBN: 978-0-7892-0895-8 Last modified: September 24, 2009

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