Published today, the book contains images of candid moments from the war chosen from over 200,000 AP photos, from front-line combat to Buddhist Monks committing self-immolation in protest.
The images changed public perception of the war. Photos, rather than video footage, were key in conveying to audiences around the world the brutality of the war in Vietnam. Video cameras were being used by journalists in Vietnam but lacked the impact of the small 35-millimetre camera, the tool of choice for photojournalists.
“This book shows how good they were. As a young reporter, I had learned much from photographers about how to see, not merely look.
"From Vietnam, photographers taught the world how to see the war. Say the word ‘Vietnam’ today to most people of a certain age; the image that rises is usually a photograph.”
The book includes AP journalist Malcolm Browne’s shocking photo of a Buddhist monk taking his own life in petrol-fueled flames on a Saigon street in 1963, protesting the policies of the United States-backed South Vietnamese regime.
When President John F. Kennedy saw the photo of the burning monk, he reportedly remarked, “We’ve got to do something about that regime.”
Ut said of the girl in his famous picture "I cried when I saw her running, if I don't help her - if something happened and she died - I think I'd kill myself after that."
The photographer's older brother was reportedly killed on assignment with the AP in the southern Mekong Delta.
Nine years later, President Richard M. Nixon and an aide speculated about whether the “napalm girl” photo was somehow faked.