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AfterimagesPhotography and U.S. Foreign Policy$
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Liam Kennedy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226337265

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226337432.001.0001

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Compassion and Critique: Vietnam

Compassion and Critique: Vietnam

(p.13) One Compassion and Critique: Vietnam

Liam Kennedy

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Vietnam War imagery. It focuses on the work of two photographers who produced fresh and influential visual documentations of the war, though their work differs greatly in style and motivation. The first is Larry Burrows, whose work for Life magazine constitutes a remarkable documentary chronicle of the war’s shifting contours and his sensitivities to this, and reflects his development of a “compassionate vision” that reflected the moral ambiguities of his role. The second photographer is Philip Jones Griffiths whose more independent body of work boldly illustrates and indicts the destructive military and cultural presence of the United States in South East Asia both during and after the war. Griffiths put together his book Vietnam Inc in 1971, a benchmark of war reporting, and returned regularly to Vietnam for many years after the war to document the effects of Agent Orange and socio-economic changes in the country.

Keywords:   Larry Burrows, Philip Jones Griffiths, Vietnam War, photography

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