Under Fire: Great Photographers and Writers in Vietnam
In Under Fire, one of the most daring combat photographers of the Vietnam War, Catherine Leroy, pairs her work and that of other acclaimed photographers-–among them Larry Burrows, Henri Huet, and Don McCullin–with moving, evocative essays from an equally stellar roster of writers, including David Halberstam, Philip Caputo, Neil Sheehan, and Tim O’Brien.Captured in the collected photographs is the full emotional spectrum of war. Through the camera’s eye, we see the war from both the combatants’ perspective and that of the Vietnamese civilians, for whom the conflict was a constant and horrendous backdrop. Some of the photographs are well known, verging on the iconic, others are less well circulated but no less evocative. All make indelible impressions on the viewer–perhaps more so now than when they were taken, thirty to fifty years ago. The essays accompanying the photographs tell us about what happened to the photos’ subjects, both when the shutter captured them and since; about the challenges facing the photographers in the heat of battle; and how, in some cases, the photographers changed history by bringing Vietnam’s senseless violence to ordinary Americans’ doorsteps, thereby helping turn public opinion against the war. Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon, Under Fire is a potent, often poignant reminder of the men and women whose work helped forge the collective memory of a generation.