Killing for Show: Photography, War and the Media in Vietnam and Iraq

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In the autumn of 2014, the Royal Air Force released blurry video of a missile blowing up a pick-up truck which may have had a weapon attached to its flatbed. This was a lethal form of gesture politics: to send a £9-million bomber from Cyprus to Iraq and back, burning £35,000 an hour in fuel, to launch a smart missile costing £100,000 to destroy a truck or, rather, to create a video that shows it being destroyed. Some lives are ended—it is impossible to tell whose—so that the government can pretend that it taking effective action by creating a high-budget snuff movie. This is killing for show.

Since the Vietnam War the way we see conflict—through film, photographs, and pixels—has had a powerful impact on the political fortunes of the campaign, and the way that war has been conducted. This fully illustrated and passionately argued account of war imagery tells the story of post-war conflict, how it was recorded and remembered through its iconic photography.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages354
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5381-4181-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-5381-4180-9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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