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Vietnam Inc. Paperback – February 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Photography. Monographs
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; New Ed edition (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714846031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714846033
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Few photo books can claim the social and historic importance of Vietnam Inc.' (Bookforum) '"The greatest description of war since Goya", raved Henri Cartier-Bresson ... Thirty years on, Vietnam Inc. is still a classic ... essential to anyone interested in Vietnam's history, America, photography or war. ... Like many photojournalists, however, Griffiths retains his faith in both the ultimate goodness of humanity and the power of the photographic image. Vietnam Inc. is a testament to the latter.' (Far Eastern Economic Review) 'Despite, or perhaps because of, the many Hollywood re-enactments of the war, Vietnam Inc. remains a shocking and powerful book ... What distinguishes Vietnam Inc. from other books about the war is that it looks beyond the front-line action and seeks an understanding of life behind the headlines.' (British Journal of Photography) 'Some of the most powerful images of the Vietnam War.' (Independent on Sunday) 'One of the most powerful photo documents to come out of the Vietnam War.' (ASPP, The Picture Professional) 'Remains a quintessential book on the subject.' (International Center of Photography, New York) '[Philip Jones Griffiths'] combination of death and destruction against a backdrop of folklife and peasant culture, contextualized by his own sharp text, seemed to expose the futility of this conflict better than wall-to-wall TV and magazine coverage.' (Photo District News) 'If I had to pick a single book of photojournalism to represent the Vietnam War, I'd choose Philip Jones Griffiths' Vietnam Inc. ... Griffiths' masterpiece remains the most trenchant image-text analysis of this war ever published in English.' (Photography in New York International) 'One of the most excoriating indictments of US involvement in the Vietnam War ever published ... The book masterfully juxtaposes a rural, civilian peaceful population with that of a technically-advanced army intent on 'helping' them depose government and ideology that the people actually chose ... Jones Griffiths' often wry, ironic and direct commentary helps put US military intentions in true perspective ... The enduring strength of Vietnam Inc. is two-fold: Griffiths was not 'embedded' as journalists now choose to be and he was not afraid to take a moral stance about the reasons behind the US intervention and the conduct of its army.' (Tribune)

About the Author

Highly influential as a master photojournalist, Philip Jones Griffiths is also a writer and film-maker. A long-standing member of the international photo-agency, Magnum, his photographs have appeared in every major magazine in the world, and his assignments, often self-initiated, have led him to over 120 countries in all five continents. He has exhibited widely in the US and Europe, and continues to work for Life and Geo on a range of stories, such as Buddhism in Cambodia, drought in India and the legacy of the war in Kuwait. He has also made a number of films including a documentary for the BBC on the descendants of the HMS Bounty living on Pitcairn Island, a film about the effects of strip-mining on a valley in South Wales and a film about the Khao-I-Dang Refugee camp in Thailand for the United Nations' High Commission for Refugees. His work on Vietnam has continued to this day with books on the long-term effects of the chemicals used by the US in the conflict and on the country now at peace over thirty years later. Noam Chomsky is one of America's most prominent linguists and political critics. A renowned Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has written more than thirty political books.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a must for anyone interested in the Vietnam conflict and the consequences of war.
Kingston
He has produced a powerful, informative and compassionate work of photojournalism, that is as immediate today as when it was orignally published.
A. Holbrooke
Shows the horrible human suffering that war causes, as well as the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.
Carioca56

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kingston on December 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a superb collection of photos that depicts the ironies and inanities that resonated throughout the US misguided war in Vietnam. There are haunting images of casual and mindless brutality, there are wonderful juxtapositions and there are the unforgettable faces of those caught up in the war as they try to lead their lives amidst wanton destruction. This is a book about betrayal...the betrayal of American ideals by US leaders, betrayal of soldiers by arrogant leaders, betrayal of allies for geopolitical machinations and betrayal of a people who suffered more than can be imagined. These timeless photos help us remember a dark chapter in US history and the reissue of this collection in a beautifully produced volume is welcome. Having taught about the Vietnam war to students who were born well after the debacle, this is an extremely valuable resource to bring to life the lessons learned from books and lectures. These mesmerizing images are informed by Griffith's conviction that, " the overwhelming impression of Americans in Vietnam is one of stupidity rather than evil." Certainly some veterans may dislike the photos and text, but few books convey the banality of war so effectively. Griffiths elegantly combines his photos, text and perceptive insights on Vietamese society and in so doing sets a standard for war reportage that others still only aspire to. This book is a must for anyone interested in the Vietnam conflict and the consequences of war.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "gdavis@tka.att.ne.jp" on December 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I spent three years in Vietnam as a GI from 1967-70. I saw plenty of combat and was on many operations throughout that time from places like Danang to Saigon to Plieku. I was also assigned for a time to the rear as an intelligence specialist. Reading this book and looking at the shockingly beautiful photographs bring home the realities of that war again. This is a great reference for those who are interested in the Vietnam war and the realities of often mis-directed American foreign policy. We entered that far away war sending ignorant young soldiers to a country with an alien culture and ended up fearing everything we did not understand, often destroying it We did strike out with deadly force against the perceived enemy often killing innocent Vietnamese just trying to get by in an untenable situation. We counted the innocent among the enemy dead. This book has unique insights backed up with stupendous black and white photographs.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Holbrooke on May 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
From the summer of 1966 through the fall of 1968, I was fighting in some of the same areas of Vietnam that Phillip Jones Griffiths so dramatically photographed. The pictures in his book are a jolting reminder of that experience.
No other book, by a single photographer, comes as close to capturing what Vietnam was like as this does.
He has produced a powerful, informative and compassionate work of photojournalism, that is as immediate today as when it was orignally published.
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Format: Paperback
Philip Jones Griffiths' very difficult photojournalistic essay, VIETNAM INC., is the result of his on site documentation of the Vietnam war as a photojournalist from 1968 to 1971 - that period of time when the war was at its worst from all sides. His image statements as well as his written comments remain some of the most pungent of the many books and works of art that were stimulated by the Vietnam conflict. This book was originally published in 1971 and caused such furor among government agencies who saw the work as an 'unAmerican' document condemning an ongoing war, among returned veterans still trying to make sense out of the chaos and mind destroying mission from which they returned bruised and battered physically and emotionally, among families of veterans who did not return from the war machine, and from those who wanted to believe that what we did to a little country called Vietnam was warranted in the desire to spread democracy.

All wars are captured in literature - whether in the eloquence of poetry from WW I and WW II and the many the novels - or films that painted America as a savior of needy people - or in music not the least of which is the 'War Requiem' by Sir Benjamin Britten - or in art. Philip Jones Griffiths used the camera to freeze the moments of the sadness, the sorrow, the errors, the devastation, and the pity of war. Now the book is back in print and should belong in every library of everyone who questions the validity of war. The photographs are brilliant achievements, sharing not only the panoply of reactions between the various branches of the military stationed in Vietnam, but also the varied reactions from the people whose country and homes were gradually being defoliated, scarred, completely destroyed or degraded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Glasgow on October 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
DO not be swayed by the other reviewers...these photos are not taken out of context and given new, slanted meaning...this is not propaganda. This book is true, which is often hard to define, but for the people who still have an open mind and some historical context, this account will not set-off the ole BS meter. If you look closely, the people who paint this as propaganda, have their own narrative that they are trying to sell...but I think the pictures speak for themselves, as sometimes, there is no description needed; they prove the point by preserving that moment in time.
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