Last Updated May 15, 2018

Larry Burrows: Vietnam

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ISBN/ISSN :  978-0375411021 
Publication Date: 2002
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Languages: English
Genre: War

Larry Burrows' photograph of the wounded soldiers reaching out in the mud, published in full colour by Life magazine shortly after his death in 1971, was one of the greatest photographs of the Vietnam War and it remains imprinted on our collective memories. Ralph Edwards, the managing editor of Life, called Burrows 'the single bravest and most dedicated photographer I know of'.

Larry Burrows was one of a number of great photographers who risked their lives and brought the Vietnam war to the breakfast tables of the world. Phillip Jones Griffiths, Donald McCullin and Larry Burrows produced pictures which showed the true horror of the Vietnam conflict. McCullin for the Sunday Times Magazine, Jones Griffiths with his book "Vietnam Inc" and Burrows in the pages of "Life" magazine. Larry Burrows chose to shoot the war in colour.

Burrows' photographs were intensely compassionate and terrifying beautiful. Not only was he a technical virtuoso, but he transcended the conventions of photojournalism and created iconic art. His work was immensely influential in depicting the realities of war for the American people - a fact that did not pass unnoticed by the White House.

This book follows Burrows as the course of the war unfolds. He had photographed both heroic events and the mundane routines of military life. He witnessed the coups in Saigon in 1963 and 1964, and the subsequent arrival of MacNamara. He watched the policy of US advisors escalate into full-blown war. He was fascinated by the collision between the machinery of war and the humanity of the common soldier. In his work the spectacle of the air war is balanced by images of the wounded and the dead. To shoot “The Air War,” he strapped himself and his camera to the open doorway of a plane . . . his reporter’s instinct: accompanying the mission of the helicopter Yankee Papa 13, he captured the transformation of a young marine crew chief experiencing the death of fellow marines

The book is a monument to his work, and in turn it is a monument to all those who were killed.

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