Philip Jones Griffiths: Vietnam Inc.

Rare and highly sought-after photobook documenting the Vietnam War

Text by Philip Jones Griffiths, with a foreword by Noam Chomsky


Price: USD$35.00

First published in 1971, Vietnam Inc. played a crucial part in changing public attitudes in the US, turning the tide of opinion and ultimately helping to put an end to the Vietnam War. Philip Jones Griffiths' classic account of the war was the outcome of three years of intensive reporting and is one of the most detailed surveys of any conflict in twentieth-century history.

Showing us the true horrors of the war, as well as a study of Vietnamese rural life, the author creates a compelling argument against the de-humanizing power of the modern war machine and American imperialism. Rare and highly sought-after, the book has become one of the enduring classics of photo-journalism. It is now available in this new edition - a careful re-creation of the original with Griffiths' personal layouts and commentaries. A new introduction by US linguist and notorious political critic Noam Chomsky traces the book's impact in changing public opinion.


Format: Paperback
Size: 280 x 202 mm (11 x 8 in)
Pages: 224 pp
Illustrations: 266 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714846033

Highly influential as a master photojournalist, Philip Jones Griffiths is also a writer and film-maker. A long-standing member of the international photo-agency, Magnum, his photographs have appeared in every major magazine in the world, and his assignments, often self-initiated, have led him to over 120 countries in all five continents. He has exhibited widely in the US and Europe, and continues to work for Life and Géo on a range of stories, such as Buddhism in Cambodia, drought in India and the legacy of the war in Kuwait. He has also made a number of films including a documentary for the BBC on the descendants of the HMS Bounty living on Pitcairn Island, a film about the effects of strip-mining on a valley in South Wales and a film about the Khao-I-Dang Refugee camp in Thailand for the United Nations' High Commission for Refugees. His work on Vietnam has continued to this day with books on the long-term effects of the chemicals used by the US in the conflict and on the country now at peace over thirty years later.

Noam Chomsky is one of America's most prominent linguists and political critics. A renowned Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has written more than thirty political books.

'Few photo books can claim the social and historic importance of Vietnam Inc.' (Bookforum)

'“The greatest description of war since Goya”, raved Henri Cartier-Bresson … Thirty years on, Vietnam Inc. is still a classic … essential to anyone interested in Vietnam’s history, America, photography or war. … Like many photojournalists, however, Griffiths retains his faith in both the ultimate goodness of humanity and the power of the photographic image. Vietnam Inc. is a testament to the latter.' (Far Eastern Economic Review)

'Despite, or perhaps because of, the many Hollywood re-enactments of the war, Vietnam Inc. remains a shocking and powerful book … What distinguishes Vietnam Inc. from other books about the war is that it looks beyond the front-line action and seeks an understanding of life behind the headlines.' (British Journal of Photography)

'Some of the most powerful images of the Vietnam War.' (Independent on Sunday)  

'One of the most powerful photo documents to come out of the Vietnam War.' (ASPP, The Picture Professional)

'Remains a quintessential book on the subject.' (International Center of Photography, New York)

'[Philip Jones Griffiths’] combination of death and destruction against a backdrop of folklife and peasant culture, contextualized by his own sharp text, seemed to expose the futility of this conflict better than wall-to-wall TV and magazine coverage.' (Photo District News)

'If I had to pick a single book of photojournalism to represent the Vietnam War, I’d choose Philip Jones Griffiths’ Vietnam Inc. … Griffiths’ masterpiece remains the most trenchant image-text analysis of this war ever published in English.' (Photography in New York International)  

'One of the most excoriating indictments of US involvement in the Vietnam War ever published ... The book masterfully juxtaposes a rural, civilian peaceful population with that of a technically-advanced army intent on 'helping' them depose government and ideology that the people actually chose ... Jones Griffiths' often wry, ironic and direct commentary helps put US military intentions in true perspective ... The enduring strength of Vietnam Inc. is two-fold: Griffiths was not 'embedded' as journalists now choose to be and he was not afraid to take a moral stance about the reasons behind the US intervention and the conduct of its army.' (Tribune)

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