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On the Frontlines of the Television War: A Legendary War Cameraman in Vietnam Hardcover – March 17, 2017
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Vietnam Veterans of America Book Reviews 2 April 17, 2017
In On the Frontlines of the Television War: A Legendary War Cameraman in Vietnam (Casemate, 304 pp., $32.95; $9.99, Kindle), Yasutsune "Tony" Hirashiki describes his experience in the Vietnam War from 1966 to the communist takeover in 1975 working behind the camera for ABC News. The eyewitness accounts of the many phases of the war in this memoir bring events to life as if they had happened yesterday.
In his quest "to become as good as [the famed photojournalist] Robert Capa," Hirashiki chose to cover the most dangerous assignments in the war. "Many of us dreamed that war reporting would find us fame and recognition within our profession," he says. For Hirashiki, the dream materialized in the form of a forty-year career with ABC News. ...The book's importance lies in its neutrality. Many people have criticized Vietnam War correspondents, especially television reporters, for promoting antiwar sentiments. On the Frontlines of the Television War, which was edited by Terry Irving, contradicts that opinion by telling the story of a closely knit group of professionals who strove to report what they saw as accurately as possible. In other words, any distortion in television reporting did not originate in the field.
"Sometimes a book comes out that astounds the reader, and I believe this is one of them... This is a riveting read. 5 stars."
Books monthly.UK 2017
There is a tendency as we approach 2020 for us to assume that everything that occurs on our planet will be recorded for us for instant replay via television or social media. It's an aspect of the modern world that was forecast in children's SF comic strips back in the 1950s, along with regular spaceflights to and from the moon and Mars, which clearly didn't happen but may now be just around the corner... This superb book looks at how we reached this point in TV reporting, and is well worth a few hours of your time.
About the Author
Yasutsune "Tony" Hirashiki was an ABC News cameraman from 1966 to 2006. In those four decades he became legendary, consistently known as the best cameraman in the company and certainly the guy you wanted next to you if you were walking into danger. During his time in Vietnam, he was present at virtually every major event. Since then he has worked in danger zones around the world.
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I encourage journalism students to read this book.