As Americans and Vietnamese observe the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, award-winning journalist and photographer Robert Dodge asks us to give up our horrific war-era memories of this Southeast Asian country in favor of a more hopeful and modern vision.
In an eight-year project that promotes reconciliation and healing, Dodge offers more than 100 beautiful and poignant images of Vietnam and its people that depict a country with one foot in ancient Asia and another tentatively leaping towards joining the global economy.
“Vietnam is no longer a war. It is a country,” says Dodge. It is appropriate that the 110-page Vietnam 40 Years Later comes in time for the April 2015 anniversary and will reintroduce Americans to Vietnam.
Dodge tells his story with beautiful color images that land carefully between fine art and documentary. From the watery and lush farmlands of the Mekong to the lush green rice paddies of the Red River region; from the crystal clear waters and sandy beaches of the coastline to the tropical mountains of the north; from the historic corridors of Hanoi to the bustling business, fashion and media center of Ho Chi Minh City, Dodge provides a captivating cross section of a country that has shaken off its violent past and now appears to be in constant motion towards a new destiny.
It is unusual for a photographer to also possess writing talents. But Dodge draws beautifully from his decades as a journalist to show us he also is a seasoned writer. In a compelling essay, he tells how his experiences as a war-era Baby Boomer instilled him with a keen interest in Vietnam and was the inspiration for his photo exploration.
Dodge is accompanied by Vietnamese-American journalist Andrew Lam, who has written an eloquent forward, drawing on Dodge’s photography to reflect on his own life as a Vietnamese refugee who found success in America as a journalist and award-winning book author.
Since 2005, Dodge has undertaken nine photo shooting trips to Vietnam, traveling throughout the country from the expansive Mekong Delta to the remote villages of the mountainous north. His interest in Vietnam was cultivated early, as he and his generation of 77-million Baby Boomers consumed a daily diet of war news during his high school and college years. In fact, the war’s defining role during that era of American history galvanized Dodge’s interest in politics and media and propelled him into a journalism career.
“Vietnam was the war of my generation,” says Dodge. To be sure, Dodge’s exploration reveals a country at a crossroads with serious economic and political challenges. But whatever Vietnam ultimately does to fix its economy or confront human rights issues, Dodge has provided viewers with a new and insightful perspective on a country that is once again connected to the United States and the West economically, politically and militarily. (end)
Robert Dodge is a commercial, editorial and fine arts photographer and writer with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and public relations. His work includes portraits, landscapes, and iconic Washington venues, as well as wedding, travel, and corporate and advertising imagery.
While photography has been a part of Dodge’s life since age 14, he spent more than three decades as a newspaper writer and editor. In 2006, he left The Dallas Morning News, where he had been a Washington correspondent for nearly 25 years, to work in media relations for a major industry trade association. Several years later, he launched an independent business as a writer and photographer.
In 2013, images from his Vietnam 40 Years Later project won top honors in FotoWeekDC’s Uncover/Discover contest. In 2010, an image from the project won honorable mention in the Santa Fe Workshop’s LIGHT contest. The Dallas Press Club honored Dodge for his Dallas Life Magazine story Mr. Bentsen and the President, which chronicled the close relationship between Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and President Bill Clinton. In 1982, he was a key member of a team of Dallas News journalists who were Pulitzer Prize finalists for spot-news reporting on the bankruptcy of Braniff International Airways.
Dodge was president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, 1999-2002, and has served on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the academic and industry group that awards accreditation to journalism colleges.
Dodge lives in Washington, D.C., with his two cats, Winston and Tittles, who both enjoy boiled shrimp and a good belly rub. Vietnam 40 Years Later is his first book.
Andrew Lam is a writer and editor with the Pacific News Service, a short story writer and book author.
Born in Vietnam, Lam came to the U.S. in 1975, when he was 11 years old. He was featured in the documentary My Journey Home, which aired in 2004 on PBS, and for which a film crew followed him back to his homeland.
His book, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora won the PEN American Beyond Margins Award in 2006, and was short-listed for the Asian American Literature Award. Lam’s East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, was listed as a Top Ten Indies Books by Shelf Unbound Magazine. His latest book, Birds of Paradise Lost, is his first collection of short stories.
Lam’s essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. He has also written essays for magazines like Mother Jones, The Nation, San Francisco Focus, Proult Journal, In Context, Utne Reader, California Magazine and many others. He has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. And Lam co-founded New America Media, an association of more than 3,000 ethnic media in America.
Lam’s awards include the Society of Professional Journalists Outstanding Young Journalist Award (1993) and Best Commentator in 2004, The Media Alliance Meritorious awards (1994), The World Affairs Council’s Excellence in International Journalism Award (1992), the Rockefeller Fellowship in UCLA (1992), and the Asian American Journalists Association National Award (1993; 1995). He was honored and profiled on KQED television in May 1996 during Asian American heritage month. In 2008, he won the Literary Death Match West Coast competition.
He was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2001-2002, studying journalism. He has lectured widely at universities and institutions including Harvard, Yale, Brown, UCLA, USF, UC Berkeley, the University of Hawaii, the College of William and Mary, Hong Kong, and Loyola University. Lam has a Master in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University in creative writing, and a BA in biochemistry from UC Berkeley.
Purchase Vietnam 40 Years Later directly here and receive an autographed copy of the book and a special-edition print. Click the book below to buy.
Purchase an autographed book and a limit-edition print as a package and enjoy a savings from buying them individually. Most images from Vietnam 40 Years Later are available as limited-edition, fine-art prints. When matted and framed, they make a stunning display for home or office. The prints are made on a beautiful matte surface paper using archival materials, ensuring they will last more than a lifetime when properly protected. The heavy stock paper and pigments produce rich, deep and satisfying colors, turning each print into a museum piece. Robert’s prints are offered at prices below comparable works to make them accessible to entry-level collectors and an appealing investment for more sophisticated investors. These are the same prints that were acquired by the Library of Congress for its historic print collection. These prints can be collected with confidence.
Each print is signed, dated and numbered. Two packages are available:
Click here here to see book and print packages.
“Many of the images from Vietnam 40 Years Later are available as limited-edition, fine-art prints. When matted and framed, they make a stunning display for home or office. The prints are made on a beautiful matte surface paper using archival materials, ensuring they will last more than a lifetime when properly protected. The heavy stock paper and pigments produce rich, deep and satisfying colors, turning each print into a museum piece. Robert’s prints are offered at prices below comparable works to make them accessible to entry-level collectors and an appealing investment for more sophisticated investors. These are the same prints that were acquired by the Library of Congress for its historic print collection. These prints can be collected with confidence.
Each print is signed, dated and numbered. The prints come in two sizes:
Click here to see fine art prints.