A Thanksgiving Day cartoon by Roz Chast.
The British photographers were stationed on the front lines of the Somme, ready to capture the “Big Push” as it unfolded. Starting at 7:30 a.m. on July 1, 1916, line after line of British soldiers weighed down by 70‑plus pounds of equipment trudged straight into German machine-gun fire. Later that hot day, which would become the costliest day in the history of the British military and one of the deadliest single days of combat in any war, the wounded lay stranded in no-man’s-land. The lucky ones found shelter in shell holes; the rest were left exposed and baking in the sun. They could not be rescued yet, and so an anonymous official photographer attached to the Royal Engineers did what he could to record the scene. The picture he took, though, tells almost nothing without a caption. The landscape is flat and featureless. The dead and wounded look like dots. “Like a million bloody rugs,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald of the Somme carnage. In fact, you can’t make out blood. You can’t even tell you’re looking at bodies.
Starting in the American Civil War, photographers could claim to have provided the iconic representations of war. Reproduced on stereographic cards and exhibited at Mathew Brady’s gallery in New York, Alexander Gardner’s pictures of dead soldiers strewn about the Antietam battlefield shocked the divided nation, and remain the searing record of destruction. Robert Capa’s falling soldier (possibly a staged picture) came to define the Spanish Civil War, as Joe Rosenthal’s picture of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima did, for Americans, the Second World War. Nick Ut’s photo of the crying, naked girl burned by napalm conveyed the horrors of Vietnam, it is often said, in a way that words could not. But in this litany, the First World War is the notable exception.
Read more. [Image: John Warwick Brooke/British Imperial War Museums]
Sam is high-school government teacher in Washington D.C. who wanted to take on a leadership role in her school. Last year, she earned a master’s degree and an administration license in order to pursue a position as a principal or a dean. Now, though, she has doubts about leaving the classroom.
“I’m not sure that I want to be a principal,” she tells me. “I think that ideally I would still want to work with kids in some capacity…I don’t perceive leaving the classroom for a while, but I do want to have some other leadership opportunities before that.”
Sam’s dilemma—the seemingly conflicting desires of wanting to advance in her career while remaining a classroom teacher—is one that many teachers face. Many teachers want to lead inside and outside of their classrooms, but often it seems the only way to do that is to become a dean or a principal. While these positions typically provide more money and greater flexibility, they ultimately move teachers further away from the students.
Read more. [Image: Paramount Pictures]
Absolutely stunning imagery.
A brand new book (Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs) by acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry brings together the most beautiful and powerful photo stories he’s shot in the last 30 years.
See more on My Modern Met.
Hey, how come we never talk about Charles Addams?
I barely ever see compilations of his work for sale.
I barely ever see his cartoons being blogged.
His tumblr tag is sparse as hell.
So many people have no idea that the Addams Family began as recurring characters in what was basically "The Far Side" of the 1940’s and 50’s.
He invented the Addams Family and he barely gets any credit.
And seventy years later his jokes feel as fresh and sharp as ever.