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"One book that we felt stood out amongst the rest: Peter van Agtmael’s Disco Night September 11, which, not only, is an incisive and searing look at the state of America, still caught in maelstroms of war and its aftershocks, but also a distinctly original presentation of documentary work." TIME Picks the Best Photobooks of 2014
Disco Night Sept. 11 is a chronicle of America's wars from 2006-2013. The photographs shift back and forth from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the USA, unsparingly capturing the violent, ceaseless cost, but also the mystery and the madness, the beauty and absurdity at the core of each conflict. The narrative is complemented by nineteen gatefolds which elaborate on places and individuals.
Photographs are fragments, sometimes only loosely tied to important experiences. An extensive text records some of the missing pieces. The stories that precede and follow the moment of the photograph, conversations with soldiers, anonymous graffiti that's part confession, part boast.
Disco Night Sept. 11 is an expansive yet intimate account of this defining era of history.
1st Edition, Signed by Peter van Agtmael
Filled with first hand stories and anecdotes that provide background information about the images...van Agtmael also discusses his own shift from an eager young man ready for war to the anger and numbness he felt after experiencing war firsthand.
Disco Night Sept 11 is not a photobook you can browse for five minutes at a time every so often - it requires proper commitment...Van Agtmael's book is also the type of photobook you read from cover to cover - where each caption, even if it seems trivial, has its significance...
British Journal of Photography
Disco Night Sept 11 is a magnificent hybrid work. Part war story and part family album, it shares with the latter the fabric cover, relatively small photographs, unfolding pages, captions, and it even achieves the same cathartic effect, for soldiers, their families, the United States and the author Peter van Agtmael himself.
L'Oeil de la Photographie
Van Agtmael's photographs...seem to recognize a dissonance between reality and the way we imagine it, between life and the way we imagine it, between war and the way we imagine it.
The book's arc is huge...Here then is what is going to be one of the defining photo books of this era, an era that in all kinds of ways is still with us - and it will be until we come to terms with it. Highly recommended.
Conscientious Photography Magazine
He's telling, in parallel, two complex stories often told separately: that of fighting a war and that of coming home...In short, this is a smart, important photo book, one that pulls you in easily and makes it difficult for you to put it down.