For every Vietnam War image seared into our memory, there are thousands more, documenting our two-decade slog through an ultimately unwinnable conflict. Vietnam: the Real War, a Photographic History by the Associated Press tells this familiar but still compelling story in rich, visual detail, providing a thorough look at the daily life of US and South Vietnamese soldiers in the jungles and rice paddies, and on city streets. The book’s 300-plus photos, all from the AP archives, fill in the moments between the Pulitzer-winning images.
It’s hard to understate the impact photography had on the Vietnam War. When photojournalists talk about making images that inform, foment change, make an impact, this is what they’re talking about. But that was then. For a number of reasons—cable news, Twitter, war fatigue, iPhones, reality TV, etc.—professional photojournalists may never again effect the public’s perception of war the way they did in Vietnam. [Read the full article]