cover image Vietnam Bao Chi: Warriors of Word and Film

Vietnam Bao Chi: Warriors of Word and Film

Marc Phillip Yablonka. Casemate, $32.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-61200-687-1

Journalist Yablonka (Distant War) fills a void with this valuable collection of profiles of 35 American military journalists of varied sorts who plied their trade during the Vietnam War. Some, including former Marines Dale Dye and Bob Bayer, Green Beret Jim Morris, Army combat correspondent Marvin Wolf, and combat photographer Dick Durrance, went on to notable careers as civilian journalists, writers, and photographers. Others such as Frank Lepore stayed in the military. All of the former military correspondents, photographers, and TV and documentary cameramen and directors go into depth about day-to-day details of their war work. Some offer their opinions about what civilian war correspondents do: Sonny Craven, an Army radio-TV-motion picture officer, for example, is highly critical of “hot dog” civilian reporters trying to make a name for themselves in the war zone, but Lepore, who served in the same position, characterizes his interactions with civilian press members as “congenial,” since both groups of journalists “had to get to the action to record it.” Yablonka pays tribute to three of the civilians—photographers Eddie Adams, Catherine Leroy, and Nick Ut. This work shines light on the all-but-forgotten role of American military báo chí (press in Vietnamese) and fleshes out the history of Vietnam War journalism and journalists. (Dec.)