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The 50 Greatest Political Photographs

A selection of the 50 top political images of all time, and our judges' choice for the greatest of a

To accompany this week's New Statesman, we present the 50 Greatest Political Photographs of all time. All 50 images appear in a special collector's magazine, part of our double Easter issue, which you can order here.

We look at the stories behind the photographs and explore the reasons for their success. Here is a taste of what you will find in the magazine: a selection of ten of these striking images.

Our judges -- Jason Cowley, Jonathan Dimbleby, Stuart Franklin, Rebecca McClelland and Jon Snow -- also chose the single greatest political photo, which appears at number one in this list:

1. South Vietnam, 9 June 1972 | Nick Ut

2. South Vietnam, 11 June 1963 | Malcolm Browne

3. Yalta, February 1945 | Unknown photographer

4. West Bank, 1 February 2006 | Oded Balilty

5. Abu Ghraib, 2003 | Unknown photographer

6. Mexico, 16 October 1968 | Jon Dominis

7. Cuba, 5 March 1960 | Alberto Korda

8. Beirut, 15 August 2006 | Spencer Platt

9. Louisville, Kentucky, January 1937 | Margaret Bourke-White

10. Memphis, Tennessee, 29 March 1968 | Unknown photographer

*All photographs selected from our special collector's issue "The 50 Greatest Political Photographs".


View from NS contributors

We also asked writers for the New Statesman which photographs they would have chosen. Roy Hattersley suggested a picture of the Labour politician Hugh Gaitskell, saying:

Gaitskell's 1960 rejection of unilateral nuclear disarmament, by implication renouncing the politics of some of its supporters, was the bravest and best conference speech I ever heard -- beating, by a short head, Neil Kinnock's denunciation of the Militant Tendency. Gaitskell lost the vote -- as he knew he would. But he won the battle to take Labour back into the mainstream of politics.

Gareth Brown chose the photograph "Blood in the Water Match". It depicts a water polo match between the USSR and Hungary at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, which also coincided with the Hungarian Revolution. Hungary beat the USSR 4-0, and the Hungarian player Ervin Zádor emerged from the water with blood pouring from his face after being punched by one of the Soviet contestants.

Peter Meade went for the photograph of the Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley in 1988, holding up a red poster reading "Pope John Paul II ANTICHRIST" in black letters as the Pope delivered a speech to the European Parliament.

John West chose Willy Ronis's 1938 image "Grève aux Usines Javel-Citroën", which depicts a Frenchwoman addressing a crowd of workers during a factory strike. The photograph shines with the woman's forcefulness and conviction: she would later join the French Resistance.

Do you agree with our judges? Let us know your suggestions.