Chris Nashawaty
April 14, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT


Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A

If your coffee table is festooned with shiny-happy photo books of puppies and beaches, Inferno is not for you. In his introduction to this stark and unrelenting book of portraits from Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda, writer Luc Sante calls James Nachtwey a war photographer-turned-antiwar photographer. It’s easy to see what he means. As its title implies, Nachtwey’s oversize black-and-white photos — images that virtually dare you to look away — are a disturbing trip through a hell far worse than anything Dante could dream up: 480 tragic pages of civilian victims caught in the chaotic cross fire of war. With his unflinching camera, Nachtwey accomplishes what a year’s worth of fuzzy headlines from faraway places can’t; he brings everyday suffering into harrowingly sharp focus. A

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