Vietnam Veterans Memorial P

Michael Katakis, Author, Robert J. Kerrey, Foreword by Crown Publishers $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57019-7
Freelance photojournalist Katakis photographed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial over the course of two years, and the images he capturedfrom a kneeling veteran to a stepfather lifting a boy on his shoulders so that he can touch his father's nameprove the volume's contention that ``it is the living who haunt us as much as the dead.'' Seventy-five black-and-white pictures are accompanied here by remarks from the memorial's visitors that recall the domestic controversy surrounding the war. ``If they gave me back my legs I'd go back again,'' says one veteran; and another maintains, ``Don't volunteer to fight in a conflict that you can't win, or your war will never end.'' In the earnest introduction, anthropologist Kris Harden reminds us that the memorial began as a grassroots project, initiated by veteran Jan Scruggs. Maya Ying Lin, the 20-year-old architecture student who won the national competition to design the memorial, is quoted explaining that she wanted to create ``a journey, or passage . . . as if the black-brown earth were polished and made into an interface between the sunny world and quiet dark world beyond, that we can't enter.'' These photographs demonstrate just how well she succeeded. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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