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Margaret Bourke-White: The Great Achiever

Vocabulary Practice.


I. Find synonyms to the following words and word combinations:


− to capture

− to collaborate with

− to curtail

− to thrust smth. upon smb.

− to abandon smth.

− people of integrity

− grandeur of industrial forms

− momentous period

− to be bankable to smb.

− to excerpt


II. Put in a suitable preposition and translate the sentences:


1. As an actor you often draw … your own life experiences.

2. The results of the research don’t really amount … much.

3. The thought of giving up never occurred … me.

4. It’s normal for mothers to be overprotective … their children.

5. Every time I was about to cry, she used to say “Never give way … despair”.

6. Have you set … some money for your child’s education?

7. We would welcome your comments … our work.


III. Translate the sentences into Russian:


1. Bourke-White possessed a vision of humanity which enabled her to establish an understanding with her subjects, and the photographs she took of them seemed to capture the truth of their lives.

2. Though Margaret took a photography course during her freshman year at Columbia University, it was not until three years later, after she had transferred to Cornell University, that she drew upon the skills which she had acquired in that course.

3. Through her pictures, readers had their view of the world extended, and they came to understand the human drama conveyed to them by pictures instead of by words.

4. She thought visually. She had an eye, a great feeling.

5. The answer, I discerned, is that Life failed to satisfy Bourke-White because the magazine editorialized and condensed her photographs and reports, and because the magazine was disposable.

6. Her perspective broadened beyond the face value of facts, to encompass the truth, and the truth as always, was the hardest thing for her to find ...


IV. Translate the sentences into English:


1. Рут имеет привычку игнорировать меня, что приводит меня в бешенство.

2. На нее сильно повлиял развод родителей.

3. Результаты исследования впечатляют и настораживают.

4. Легко судить, глядя в прошлое.

5. Несправедливо, что она должна так много работать.

6. Он был ранен во время выполнения боевого задания.


You are going to read another text about Margaret Bourke-White. It is rather complicated, that is why before you read it, make sure you understand the meaning of the following word combinations:

− global scoop – сенсация мирового масштаба

− barrage – огонь (обстрел)

− salvos – бомбы

− leave the shutter on time exposure – поставить затвор объектива на выдержку

− U.S. Presidential envoy – дипломатический представитель президента США

− to fly on a combat mission – вылетать на боевое задание

− bitterly contested area – место ожесточенных сражений

− GIs – (амер.) солдаты

− revered carnage of race riots – резня во время расовых столкновений

I. Read the text and make its outline. You may only divide it into four parts.

II. Think of a different title to this text and explain why you think it is suitable.

Margaret Bourke-White, Photographer

Sean Callahan

Margaret Bourke-White's persistence, combined with the prescience of Life picture editor Wilson Hicks, led her to a global scoop and another professional reincarnation: war photographer. When the nonaggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany unraveled in 1941, Life and Bourke-White were ready. Both she and the magazine would achieve new levels of prominence and success.

It had been nine years since she was last in Russia, and photography by foreigners was still strictly forbidden. Nonetheless, Bourke-White arrived in Moscow with 600 pounds of equipment. Luckily, Soviet officials fondly recalled her earlier work and allowed her to take pictures. She threw herself into documenting all aspects of life in Moscow as well as the surrounding countryside knowing that since her last visit the only images of Russia the West had seen were propaganda pictures.

In June 1941, a month after she had arrived, Germany invaded Russia. Bourke-White was the only foreign photographer in the capital. On the night the first bombs fell, she, like thousands of Moscovites, was ordered into the subways for safety. The next night she escaped to the U.S. embassy where she stationed her cameras on the roof and photographed the firestorm. In the ensuing weeks of nightly barrages she would grow adept at detecting when the salvos were getting close and would coolly slip inside leaving her shutter on time exposure. Later still, she would shoot the bombings from her hotel room window... "The spectacle is so strange, so remote, that it has no reality in terms of death or danger," she wrote in Portrait of Myself. "But how quickly this feeling of immunity vanishes when one sees people killed!"

Then, in one more turn of luck for Bourke-White, U.S. Presidential envoy Harry Hopkins arrived for foreign aid discussions with Joseph Stalin. Hopkins, whom she knew from earlier assignments in Washington, secured for her a rare photo session with Stalin, and then carried her film out of the country in a diplomatic pouch and into the waiting hands of Life. As the war took a series of momentous turns that summer, Bourke-White was able to provide her magazine with exclusive coverage of the eastern front.

She returned to the United States in the fall. But when the U.S. entered the conflict after Japan's December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, Bourke-White returned to the war zone, this time as the first woman to be accredited by the U.S. armed forces as a war photographer and then as the first woman authorized to fly on a combat mission. She was attached first to the U.S. Army Air Force in England and North Africa, and later to the U.S. Army in Italy and Germany. She repeatedly came under fire during the Italian campaign in a bitterly contested area that GIs nicknamed Purple Heart Valley (which, in 1944, she used as the title of her sixth book). Despite her celebrity, she impressed foot soldier and general alike with her willingness to sleep in foxholes, patrol the skies in fragile, unarmed spotter aircraft, and work in field hospitals under artillery barrage.

By the spring of 1945, Bourke-White was racing with General George Patton over a collapsing Germany. "No time to think about it or interpret it. Just rush to photograph it," she wrote. Of entering Buchenwald, the notorious Nazi concentration camp, she said, "Using a camera was almost a relief. It interposed a slight barrier between myself and the horror in front of me." Yet, 25 years later, when going over those photographs at her home, she wept.

After the war and another book, Dear Fatherland, Rest Quietly, a project that helped her understand the brutality she had witnessed, she chafed for another challenge. "My insatiable desire to be on the scene when history was being made was never more nearly fulfilled," she later wrote. "I witnessed that extremely rare event in the history of nations, the birth of twins» For the next two years, starting in 1946, the saga of the independence and subsequent partition of India consumed her attention. She produced regular essays on the subject in Life, and yet another book, Halfway to Freedom. The extended assignment in India allowed every facet of her genius to shine through, whether she was shooting the fevered carnage of race riots or the stately tableaux of pacificism, dignified portraits of wretched poverty or unadorned documents of fabulous wealth. During this period she perfected what biographer and critic Vicki Goldberg called "the posed candid." Bourke-White's masterly control of subject, classical composition, and by now refined sensitivity to the human condition combined to create remarkable, transcendent images..."



III. Read the text again and find equivalents to the following words and word combinations:

− пакт о ненападении

− странное зрелище

− чувство защищенности

− под артиллерийским огнем

− быть на месте событий

− поглощать чье-либо внимание

− утонченная чувствительность к положению человека

− создавать замечательные, выдающиеся образы

IV. Translate the following words and word combinations into Russian:

− prescience

− to achieve new levels of prominence and success

− to take a series of momentous turns

− to provide the magazine with exclusive coverage of the eastern front

− to impress foot soldier and general alike

− to interpose a slight barrier

− to chafe for another challenge

− dignified portraits of wretched poverty

− unadorned documents of fabulous wealth

− “the posed candid”

V. Retell the text.


Read the next text and translate it into English using the words below:


Маргарет Бурк-Уайт (Margaret Bourke-White, 1904-1971) — одна из легенд фотожурналистики. Первая женщина-фотограф в знаменитом журнале «Life», первая женщина — военный корреспондент, первая женщина-фотограф, попавшая на боевую операцию. Кроме того, она была первым западным фотографом, получившим разрешение фотографировать в СССР. Она всегда находилась там где должен находится фотожурналист: там где творится история, при этом умудрялась оказаться там в нужное время.

Как и многие фотографы (и не только такие знаменитые) Маргарет Бурк-Уайт готова была пойти на все ради удачного снимка. Однажды в Индии она только что попрощалась с Махатмой Ганди и собиралась покидать страну, когда ей сообщили, что он убит. Она тут же вернулась к его дому, где собрались его родные и близкие, которые знали об ее хороших отношениях с Ганди. Её приглашают «разделить скорбь», поставив лишь одно условие — не фотографировать. Но это оказалось выше ее — Бурк-Уайт проносит с собой камеру и делает снимок со вспышкой, после чего её просто-напросто вышвыривают вон. Ничуть не смутившись, она ещё пыталась вернуться.

В другой раз, во времена корейской войны, она присутствовала на казни северокорейского пленного. Сам момент экзекуции она не зафиксировала, но после казни подняла отрубленную голову, и, держа ее в одной руке, а фотоаппарат в другой сделала снимок: рука держащая отрубленную голову на фоне улыбающегося палача с топором. Но, может быть, самое главным в этом снимке было другое: Маргарет Бурк-Уайт была послана в Корею фотографировать зверства коммунистов-северян. Она же осмелилась показать совсем не то, что от нее ожидали. И, может быть, дело здесь не в «бездушности» фоторепортера, а его (точнее сказать ее) мужестве и профессионализме?


to go to all lengths, to share the sorrow, flash, to throw out, execution, a captive, cut off head, executioner, callousness, courage.


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