Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side

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National Geographic, 2002 - History - 240 pages
Often described as the first 'television war', the Vietnam conflict was defined - and shaped - by cameras and the bold, gifted photographers behind them. Our memories of Vietnam are literally graphic - a Buddhist monk setting himself on fire, a war-weary grunt with a thousand-yard stare, a napalmed child fleeing her flaming village, desperate refugees clinging to the skids of the last helicopter out of Saigon. These and a hundred other images are seared into our consciousness - but a very different viewpoint appears in this vision of three decades of war in Vietnam. 'Another Vietnam' presents the view of the North Vietnamese combat photographers who documented their people's 30-year struggle, first against the French and then against the Americans. Intended above all to inspire, their pictures portray a society committed to victory at all costs, but they are much more than mere propaganda - They show us courage, drama, resolve, and - often - a violent beauty. Picture editor Doug Niven sought out surviving photographers and discovered a treasure trove of images created under the harshest of conditions and preserved for a quarter century against all odds. Author Tim Page, who photographed the Vietnam war for the Western press, met the men who were his opposite numbers and listened to their stories. Where Western photographers had the most modern equipment and facilities, the Vietnamese worked with cumbersome cameras, some dating back to the 1930s. Each roll of film was precious, so scarce that one cameraman shot only 70 pictures in the course of the entire war. Using home-brewed chemicals, they developed their pictures in the open air or in underground tunnels, under constant threat of B-52 strikes. And in their recollections as much as, in their photographs, we see a war utterly unlike the one we thought we knew. North Vietnamese regulars charge into action and weary guerrillas manhandle bicycles for hundreds of miles down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Women and children clear rubble in the ruins of Hanoi, and men learn to shoot down helicopters with single-shot rifles. Another Vietnam is dramatic testimony to the resourcefulness and resolve of a handful of gifted photographers who took what little they had to work with and turned it into art.

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Another Vietnam: pictures of the war from the other side

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Daugherty, a military historian and former editor of the Marine Corps Gazette, and Mattson (The Campaigns of World War II: The Pacific War) open their discussion of the Vietnam conflict with a chapter ... Read full review


Doug Niven
Waning Days of French Indochina
A House Divided

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About the author (2002)

Tim Page was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent on May 25, 1944. He is a freelance photojournalist. He has photographed an attempted coup d'état in Laos in 1965, the Vietnam War, and the Six-Day War in the Middle East in 1967. He has written several books including Page after Page and Requiem. He has received numerous awards for both his photographic and humanitarian work including The Robert Capa Award, The American Society of Media Photographers Award, Vietnamese Cultural Hero of the Revolution, and The National Press Photographers Association. He is Adjunct Professor of Photojournalism at Griffith University.

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