Larry Burrows' photograph of the wounded soldiers reaching out in the mud, published in full colour by "Life" magazine shortly after his death in 1971, was one of the greatest photographs of the Vietnam War and it remains imprinted on our collective memories. Ralph Edwards, the managing editor of "Life", called Burrows 'the single bravest and most dedicated photographer I know of'. Burrows' photographs were intensely compassionate and terrifying beautiful. Not only was he a technical virtuoso, but he transcended the conventions of photojournalism and created iconic art. His work was immensely influential in depicting the realities of war for the American people - a fact that did not pass unnoticed by the White House. This book follows Burrows as the course of the war unfolds. He had photographed both heroic events and the mundane routines of military life. He witnessed the coups in Saigon in 1963 and 1964, and the subsequent arrival of MacNamara. He watched the policy of US advisors escalate into full-blown war. He was fascinated by the collision between the machinery of war and the humanity of the common soldier.
In his work, the spectacle of the air war is balanced by images of the wounded and the dead. The book is a monument to his work, and in turn it is a monument to all those who were killed.
Early in 1971, Larry Burrows and three other photographers were shot down in a helicopter over the Laos border and they were all killed. The remains of the helicopter were finally identified deep in the Laos jungle in 1999.