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Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs

Steve McCurry’s iconic images have made him one of the world’s most popular photographers

Steve McCurry


Price: USD$59.95

  • This exceptional book is the first and only one to tell the stories behind the pictures, with over 200 photographs from across the globe, from Afghanistan to the United States of America, from India to Tibet and beyond
  • In the finest documentary tradition, Steve McCurry Untold includes previously unpublished ephemera from McCurry’s personal archive, including beautifully reproduced snapshots from assignments, notes, journals, portraits, maps and more
  • Featuring McCurry’s most evocative images, this book offers a living biography and archive of one of photography’s greatest legends

Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs takes an unprecedented look at the work of Steve McCurry, one of today’s finest and most daring imagemakers.

This is the first book to fully explore how the world-renowned photographer finds, takes and develops his uniquely iconic photographs. Presenting a personal archive of material, Steve McCurry Untold features the very best of McCurry’s most beautiful and powerful photo stories, taken from around the world over the last thirty years. Each story is illustrated with never-before-seen notes, images and ephemera – saved by McCurry from his extensive travels – and over 100 lavish, full-colour photo plates of McCurry’s most significant work. Brought to life by newly commissioned essays, the stories offer a critical narrative and give new insight and ideas into the background, experience and ideas behind McCurry’s unparalleled photography. Together, these fascinating documents reveal a new and exciting view of the story behind the story.

Tracing the narrative behind 14 of McCurry’s most important assignments, each story provides a behind-the-scenes look at McCurry’s adventures, from first publication to their afterlife in the world, creating a documentary record of his remarkable career. The featured work covers his entire oeuvre and focuses on a broad range of themes, such as rail travel in India (1983), the plight of the Tibetan people (2000–6), the effects of the Monsoon (1984) and the events of September 11th (2001), alongside his lesser-known bodies of work on the Hazara Tribe in Afghanistan (2007), Yemen (1999), and the environmental fallout from the Gulf War in Kuwait (1991). Richly illustrated and explained, this book provides an inside perspective on Steve McCurry, creating a living biography and archive of one of photography’s greatest legends.


Format: Hardback
Size: 345 x 245 mm (13 5/8 x 9 5/8 in)
Pages: 264 pp
Illustrations: 500 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714864624

  It makes you want to get out and see the world, camera in hand.
- Amateur Photographer

Steve McCurry Untold spans 30 years of McCurry's career and includes fascinating ephemera from his travels: diary entries, photos of him at work and some of the 20-plus passports he's gone through over the decades… He manages to make the world seem enormous and quite small; exotic, and somehow familiar.

Steve McCurry (b.1950) launched his career as a photojournalist when, disguised in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into Afghanistan thirty years ago. His remarkable coverage won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal, which is awarded to photographers who exhibit exceptional courage and enterprise. A recipient of an unprecedented four World Press Photo first prizes in a single year, many of McCurry's images have since become modern icons. Famous for his work across Southeast Asia, McCurry’s photographs are beautiful, uplifting and affecting. McCurry is a regular contributor to many international journals including National Geographic magazine. He is a member of Magnum Photos.


Contents and Sections:

Foreword by Steve McCurry

Shooting Under Fire
India By Rail
The Afghan Girl
After the Storm
Gateway to India
In the Vale of Sorrow, Kashmir
Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor
A Country Apart
September 11th
The Tibetans
Beyond the Footsteps of Buddha
Hazara: Strangers in the Homeland
Fighting HIV/AIDS




Steve McCurry: In the Shadow of Mountains
Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs
Steve McCurry: The Path to Buddha
Steve McCurry: Looking East
Steve McCurry: South Southeast
Steve McCurry: From These Hands


Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City. Read more
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