Look at the U.S.A.

A Diary of War and Home



ISBN: 9780500027028 Category:

Peter van Agtmael


A chronicle of post-9/11 America, at war and at home, as seen through the lens of one of Magnum Photos’ leading photographers: a compelling and ground-shaking meditation on war and society.

Through reportage and memoir, in photographs and words, Look at the U.S.A. documents the major fault lines that have defined post-9/11 America at home and abroad, beginning with the war in Iraq and ending with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Fuelled by ideology, insecurity, ambition and a deep fascination with war, Peter van Agtmael began documenting America’s war in Iraq in 2006. So began a photographic odyssey that would span nearly two decades, generating work that grew from a deep need to understand and peel back the layers of his troubled society.

Confronting the mythologizing of war and seductive nature of conflict on the American psyche, Look at the U.S.A. explores the disconnect between the intergenerational wars and the home front, juxtaposing American troops in combat with their grieving families at home and the recovery of the wounded. As the book’s narrative progresses, the gaze begins to widen, to the imprints of nationalism, the election of Donald Trump, militarism, and race and class on American society.

Layered with van Agtmael’s personal accounts, observations and interviews with those he has encountered on his journey, Look at the U.S.A. is a damning, sometimes ironic critique that will make it one of the seminal photobooks on war.

Additional information

Weight 1338 g
Dimensions 19.9 x 24.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 25 June 2024
Number of pages 352
Format Hardback
Dimensions 19.9 x 24.4 cm
Weight 1338 g


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Peter van Agtmael is an American photographer based in Paris, and has been a full member of Magnum Photos since 2013. His previous books include Disco Night Sept 11 and Sorry for the War. Van Agtmael is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the LUMIX FREELENS Award, the Aaron Siskind Grant and several World Press Photo Awards. He has been a mentor in the Arab Documentary Photography Program in Beirut since 2014.