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HomeContentsPhotobooks > Book Details
0306811960
 
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Lost Over Laos: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship 
 
  
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Product Details 
  
 
Hardcover 
320 pages 
DaCapo Press 
Published 2003 
  
From Publishers Weekly 
  
This deeply moving and personal recollection of the lives and work of the only four combat journalists killed during the 1971 U.S. invasion of Laos is an excellent short history of an important part of the Vietnam War as well as a fascinating insiders' look at the rugged life of civilian photographers during wartime. Former Saigon bureau chief Pyle (Schwarzkopf: The Man, the Mission, the Triumph) and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Faas (Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina) worked together for the Associated Press in Vietnam and were close friends with the men who died, which adds depth to their biographies: Larry Burrows, whose famous work for Life magazine made his name "the most closely identified with pictures of armed conflict in Indochina;" the Vietnamese-born Henri Huet, whose work earned the Overseas Press Club's Robert Capa Award; the passionate young Kent Potter, who threatened the United Press International "to resign if forced to leave the war zone;" and Keisaburo Shimamoto, a seasoned Vietnam correspondent with the "high-powered" French agency Gamma who had just returned for his third tour of Vietnam as a freelancer. Pyle provides an excellent look at the history of North Vietnam's use of Laos for its Ho Chi Minh Trail to arm its soldiers in South Vietnam, and he shows how its success provoked President Nixon's invasion of both Laos and Cambodia. Most moving is Pyle's account of how he and Faas returned to Laos 27 years later to search for-and successfully find-the wreckage of the dead journalists' helicopter, along with some of their personal and photographic effects, a journey that becomes a tribute to every journalist who covered the Vietnam War.  
  
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.  
  
 
  
From Booklist 
  
Two journalists who survived their years covering the Vietnam War recount the tragic end of four who did not: Larry Burrows of Life, Henri Huet of the Associated Press, Kent Potter of United Press International, and Keisaburo Shimamoto of Newsweek. All of these photojournalists died in February 1971 when the Huey helicopter carrying them into Laos was shot down by North Vietnamese gunners. A taut narrative (by Pyle) combines with haunting photographs (taken and selected by Faas) to tell two... read more  
  
 
  
Book Description 
  
The richly illustrated story of four combat photographers who died in a fiery helicopter over Laos in 1971--and the search, twenty-seven years later, for the crash site.  
  
 
  
In 1971, as American forces hastened their withdrawal from Vietnam, a helicopter was hit by enemy fire over Laos and exploded in a fireball, killing four top combat photographers, Larry Burrows of Life magazine, Henri Huet of Associated Press, Kent Potter of United Press International, and Keisaburo Shimamoto of Newsweek. The Saigon press corps and the American public were stunned, but the remoteness of the location made a recovery attempt impossible. When the war ended four years later in a communist victory, the war zone was sealed off to outsiders, and the helicopter incident faded from most memories. Yet two journalists from the Vietnam press corps--Richard Pyle, former Saigon Bureau Chief, and Horst Faas, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer in Vietnam--pledged to return some day to Laos, resolve mysteries about the crash, and pay homage to their lost friends. True to their vow, twenty-seven years after the incident the authors joined a U.S. team excavating the hillside where the helicopter crashed. Few human remains were found, but camera parts and bits of film provided eerie proof of what happened there.  
  
 
  
The narrative of Lost Over Laos is framed in a period that was among the war's bloodiest, for both the military and the media, yet has received relatively little attention from historians. It is rich with behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the Saigon press corps and illustrated with stunning work by the four combat photographers who died and their colleagues.
 
  
 
  

This photographer...

 
  
Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina 
  
Tim Page
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Lost over Laos 
  
Richard Pyle; & Horst Faas
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Lost Over Laos: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship 
  
Richard Pyle; Horst Faas; & David Halberstam
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