Mostly peaceful snapshots of a war in progress in the 1960s.

Focus on Vietnam

A Vietnam veteran shares his store of images.

Burchik’s (Compass and Camera, 2014) new photography book is a sort of lush appendix to his debut work. In that volume, the author told the stories of his tour of war-ravaged Vietnam as a member of the 18th Infantry Brigade of the Army’s 1st Division. In this new book, he expands on that original story with a thick sheaf of photographs, all of them his own, all snapped during his own tour as a forward observer in 1968-69. There are many pages of village life in the south, with farmers “trying to survive in a dangerous environment.” The poses are often deceptively pacific: a peasant woman grazes her goats on a trail along a river; a small girl carries water buckets dangling from a bindle. “They seemed to make it a game,” he writes of local children rummaging through Army refuse, “as they scavenged to rescue valuable items among the things we discarded.” The section called “Weapons” features catalog-quality snaps of M-1s, M-29s, M-60s, and noncombat explosions. The section on air transport is extensive but by its nature limited: photos of airborne vehicles taken from the ground will inevitably include no contextualizing scenery. Among the most absorbing of the book’s 16 sections (they’re about six pages each) is the one devoted to servicemen fording one of the “four or five rivers each day” that many patrols were required to cross. No matter how long the reader looks, photos of Army troops conducting the everyday business of warfare—transporting arms, making phone calls, smoking on break—never quite seem less than absurd when those soldiers are simultaneously submerged up to their shoulders in muddy sluice. These are good quality snaps— several of professional grade, and well-reproduced—but their account of Burchik’s war is necessarily partial. He is not a professional journalist, and while it would have been derelict of him to photograph exchanges of gunfire or masses of casualties, without such incidents the details of the war readers are provided reflect a limited scope. America lost more than 58,000 young men and the Vietnamese lost more than 200,000. The handful of leg wounds in this collection fails to do that number justice. That said, readers already familiar with the war’s history, controversies, and body count will find much to interest and beguile them in this collection.

Mostly peaceful snapshots of a war in progress in the 1960s.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-78292-7

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Sharlin-K Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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