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Voices from Vietnam: The Tragedies and Triumphs of Americans and Vietnamese-Two Peoples Forever Entwined by the Legacy of War [Paperback]

Charlene Edwards , Robin Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 2002
Through powerful personal narratives and photographs, this examination of the lives touched by the Vietnam War draws from the experience of those people, both American and Vietnamese, affected by the war on the battlefront and at home. Stories recounted include those of the soldiers, nurses, refugees, Amerasians, and of those who fearfully awaited the return of friends and family members. Ultimately, the stories reflect moments of history in the hope and despair that define individuals' lives.

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"A complex view, from both the American and Vietnamese vantage point that is full of emotion and insight." -- Willis E. Hartshorn: Director of the International Center of Photography in New York

"A valuable contribution to the literature of the war, marked by the unusual diversity of voices it records." -- Marilyn B. Young: Professor, History, New York University and author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990

"Anyone who was in any way touched by the Vietnam War will find this book deeply moving and hauntingly evocative." -- Robin Moore: Former Green Beret and award winning author of The Green Berets and The French Connection

"It is a powerful and monumental work, and a weapon against future wars." -- Jan C. Scruggs, Esq.: President, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. and founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

"The photographs and stories . . . evoke Vietnam's bloody and tragic past at the same time that they capture its present." -- Philip Caputo: Pulitzer Prize winner, former Vietnam veteran, and best-selling author of A Rumor of War, a highly acclaimed memoir of his experiences in Vietnam

"The photographs and stories of Charlene Edwards' book evoke Vietnam's bloody and tragic past at the same time that they capture its present." -- Philip Caputo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

"This emotion-packed book . . . offers another step in the healing process for anyone touched by this tragic war. It is a powerful and monumental work, and a weapon against future wars." -- Jan C. Scruggs, president, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

About the Author

Charlene Edwards is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Daily News, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune. She was a set photographer and photo and writing researcher for The Class of the 20th Century, a series for the A&E Network. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Two Sides of The Same Face Dec 5 2002
Voices From Vietnam was written by someone who was very young when this war took place, but who was drawn to it and remained dedicated to the understanding of it for the rest of her life.This book is very special because it humanizes both sides and helps us to realize that it was a tragic mistake from the very beginning. Misguided but well-meaning Americans went into the abyss that was left behind by the French colonizers.The people of Vietnam were devastated by over 11 long years of fighting with the Americans .The most powerful nation in the world could not ultimately overpower the determination and tremendous courage of this tiny and poor country.One of the greatest and most profound lessons as demonstrated in this book is that the Vietnamese have forgiven us for the utter decimation of their country and are willing to help us heal the terrible wounds inflicted on both sides.The author introduces us to many people and their stories and shows us that it is possible to embrace your former enemies and work together towards a better future for all.For many Vietnamese the legacy of the war is saddness-the loss of time and place ,of family and friends ,of youth and innocence. If you turn the coin over you find once-young Americans burdened with those same loses.In the end we are a mirror image of each other. Perhaps we will never be able to fully make sense of what we endured on both sides for eleven years.The Vietnamese know they won the war but there was no real winner.The author shows us some of these people and how they have rebuilt their country and extended a hand to us in forgivness and friendship.The many beautiful photographs and interviews tell this story perfectly and for every one of us to understand perfectly.This is an outstanding testimony to the good we all have in us-if only we would try to remember it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece Nov. 29 2002
In the thirty or so years since my tour of duty in Vietnam, I have read dozens of books on the tragedy of the Vietnam War. I can say unequivocally that Charlene Edwards' unique and unusual photographic essay is one of the best, if not the best, book I've read. It consists of a series of interrelated vignettes and anecdotes of Americans and Vietnamese who were affected by the war, accompanied by photography of the highest artistic order. Some of the stories are gut-wrenching, and I defy anyone to read them and not be moved. Edwards writes passionately from the heart, yet there is not a hint of rancor, politics or ideology. The book deals entirely within the human dimension, and therein lies its power. In this book you will meet the best of humanity...and the worst. I consider Voices of Vietnam a masterpiece, and very strongly recommend it to anyone interested in the Vietnam war in particular, and the long-term destructiveness of war in general.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Journey May 11 2004
By A Customer
Even if you couldn't read the words, the stunning photographs alone in this work would reveal the depth and range of emotion endured by everyone touched by the Vietnam conflict. Each personal vignette carries a similar theme - why were we there, how did the atrocities of the war effect me, where am I today? Sadly, there are more tragedies than triumphs, as with all wars, but so poignantly true in this one. Yet, you must go back with these people, imagine what it was like for them, remember how you experienced those times, and hopefully emerge with a compassionate understanding of what it all meant.
There are other books out there titled Voices from Vietnam, but Ms. Edwards has listened to these particular voices and played them back as a ringing chorus that will move you to forgive but never forget the victims on both sides of this war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding = Healing Dec 6 2002
By A Customer
Voices from Vietnam is a brilliant and riveting collection of images and essays that brought the Vietnam war alive to someone who was born at its conclusion. It is a must-read for anyone who served in the war or had loved ones who did. As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, the stories in this book have been instrumental in helping me to understand some of the things my father experienced as a soldier in this war. This compelling book shares stories from every possible perspective, yet the themes of pain, suffering, survival and triumph are very much the same. This is a very personal, very human look at the affects of war. I highly recommend it as a tool for healing and for understanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling photographic odyssey Nov. 15 2002
Written and photographed by Charlene Edwards, Voices From Vietnam is an informative history, a compelling photographic odyssey, and an emotionally moving testimonial to the tragedies and triumphs of Americans and Vietnamese tangled together in a bitter and lethal civil war. Voices From Vietnam presents a memorable selection of anecdotes about all the human beings whose lives were marked and forever changed by the Vietnam War. The history of this terrible war, its lasting impact and human struggles to survive and grow in its aftermath make Voices From Vietnam unforgettable and strongly reading -- especially because the storm clouds of war are once again gathering.
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