Close-Up on War: The Story of Pioneering Photojournalist Catherine Leroy in Vietnam

Close-Up on War: The Story of Pioneering Photojournalist Catherine Leroy in Vietnam

Close-Up on War: The Story of Pioneering Photojournalist Catherine Leroy in Vietnam

Close-Up on War: The Story of Pioneering Photojournalist Catherine Leroy in Vietnam


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The inspiring and fascinating true story of Catherine Leroy, one of the few women photographers covering the Vietnam War who gave a human face to the conflict, told by award-winning journalist and children’s book author Mary Cronk Farrell.

Close-Up on War tells the story of French-born photographer Catherine Leroy, who documented some of the fiercest fighting in Vietnam’s 20-year conflict. Although she had no formal photographic training and had never traveled more than a few hundred miles from Paris before, Leroy left home at age 21 to travel to Vietnam and document the faces of war. Despite being told that women didn’t belong in a “man’s world,” she was cool under fire, gravitated toward the thickest battles, went along on the soldiers’ slogs through the heat and mud of the jungle, crawled through rice paddies, and became the only official photojournalist to parachute into combat with American soldiers. Leroy took striking photos that gave America no choice but to look at the realities of war—showing what it did to people on both sides—from wounded soldiers to civilian casualties.

Later, Leroy was gravely wounded from shrapnel, but that didn’t keep her down for more than a month. When captured by the North Vietnamese in 1968, she talked herself free after photographing her captors, scoring a cover story in Life magazine. A recipient of the George Polk Award, one of the most prestigious awards in journalism, Leroy was one of the most well-known photographers in the world during her time, and her legacy of bravery and compassion endures today.

Farrell interviewed people who knew Leroy, as well as military personnel and other journalists who covered the war. In addition to a preface by Pulitzer Prize–winning Vietnam War photographer Nick Ut and a foreword by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Peter Arnett, Close-Up on War includes an author’s note, endnotes, bibliography, timeline, and index.

Includes Black-and-White and Color Photographs

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419746611
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication date: 03/22/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 421,886
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning journalist and children’s book writer. Her books have won a SPUR Award for Best Juvenile Fiction about the American West and been honored on lists such as the Notable Social Studies Books for Young People, Bank Street College’s List of Best Children’s Books, and the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens. Her journalistic work has also received numerous awards for excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists and two Emmy nominations. Farrell frequently speaks at schools, libraries, conferences, and women’s and family workshops. Her books include Pure Grit, Irena’sChildren, and Standing Up Against Hate. She lives in Spokane, Washington.

Table of Contents

Map viii

Foreword Peter Arnett xii

Chapter 1 A Man's War 1

Chapter 2 On the Ground in Vietnam 11

Chapter 3 Worlds Collide in Saigon 25

Chapter 4 Born to the Sound of Bombs 35

Chapter 5 Nowhere Near As Much Fun As You'd Think 43

Chapter 6 They Did Not Accept Me 55

Chapter 7 Itching for Action 63

Chapter 8 Is This Why They Call It Olive Drab? 75

Chapter 9 Proving Myself Under Fire 83

Chapter 10 Not Very Pretty 93

Chapter 11 Like You've Never Felt Alive Before 107

Chapter 12 Jumping for Joy 117

Chapter 13 A Door Opens to the Sky 129

Chapter 14 Everything Rotted 139

Chapter 15 A Big, Professional Success in Every Way 149

Chapter 16 Rumors and Gossip 159

Chapter 17 Battle for Hill 881 171

Chapter 18 Front-Page Pictures 181

Chapter 19 Côn Tiên, Hill of Angels 193

Chapter 20 Thirty-Five Pieces of Shrapnel 201

Chapter 21 A Bombshell for Têt 213

Chapter 22 The Enemy Has a Face 221

Chapter 23 Return to Huê 235

Chapter 24 Photos "First Class" 247

Chapter 25 The Biggest High of All 259

Epilogue 266

Author's Note 271

How a Camera Worked in the 1960s 274

Glossary 278

Timeline 284

Notes 286

Selected Bibliography 296

Acknowledgments 299

Image Credits 301

Index 302

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