cover image Vietnam


Chronicle Books, Geoffrey Clifford, John Balaban. Chronicle Books, $18.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-573-4

Clifford, who served as a combat helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, revisited the country for extended periods after 1985, accompanied by Vietnamese guide/interpreter Nguyen Duc Quang. ``Traveling day after day with Quang, when sometimes cold rice and a banana were our rations, I grasped his distinction between need and desire, and learned something more about the strength of the Vietnamese,'' he writes. Startlingly picturesque, and far different from familiar wartime images, this collection of some 120 color photographs depicts a Vietnam that most Americans don't know: an eerily untouched natural landscape of mountains, bays and rice fields contrasts with visual vignettes of rural poverty, religious pomp and the barbershops, street markets and soccer fields of workaday lives. Poet Balaban is an English professor at Pennsylvania State University. (Sept.)