A Portrait of Vietnam
Photojournalist Dematteis took the photographs in this collection on trips to Vietnam from 1992 to 1995. He chose to photograph ordinary Vietnamese going about their daily lives during a period when their country was opening its doors to foreigners after a long period of isolation. As Dematteis notes in his introduction, many books and motion pictures have "taught us much about the American War in Indochina, but precious little about the Vietnamese people themselves." These photographs give a kaleidoscopic view of the people and places of modern Vietnam. But it is the images of the lingering destruction caused by the war that will move American readers of a certain age: a disabled Vietnamese veteran staring out from his hospital bed, a child suffering from the effects of Agent Orange, an American veteran laying incense on the grave of a former enemy. Recommended for public libraries. Caroline Mitchell, Washington, D.C.