Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers' Engravings and Stories (1965-1973)

Overview

We are the unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful
—from an engraving on a Vietnam-era Zippo lighter
 
In 1965, journalist Morley Safer followed the United States Marines on a search and destroy mission into Cam Ne. When the Marines he accompanied reached the village, they ordered the civilians there to evacuate their homes—grass huts whose thatched roofs they set ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $28.15   
  • New (5) from $66.29   
  • Used (6) from $28.15   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 3 of 5
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$66.29
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(603)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2007 Hardcover BRAND NEW BOOK! ! SHIPS W/IN 24 HOURS! FREE INSURANCE! Fast & Personal Support! Careful Packaging. No Hassle, Full Refund Return Policy!

Ships from: Alton, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$175.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(146)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$195.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(146)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 3 of 5
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

We are the unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful
—from an engraving on a Vietnam-era Zippo lighter
 
In 1965, journalist Morley Safer followed the United States Marines on a search and destroy mission into Cam Ne. When the Marines he accompanied reached the village, they ordered the civilians there to evacuate their homes—grass huts whose thatched roofs they set ablaze with Zippo lighters. Safer’s report on the event soon aired on CBS and was among the first to paint a harrowing portrait of the War in Vietnam. LBJ responded to the segment furiously, accusing Safer of having “shat on the American flag.” For the first time since World War II, American boys in uniform had been portrayed as murderers instead of liberators. Our perception of the war—and the Zippo lighter—would never be the same.

But as this stunning book attests, the Zippo was far more than an instrument of death and destruction. For the American soldiers who wielded them, they were a vital form of social protest as well. Vietnam Zippos showcases the engravings made by U.S. soldiers on their lighters during the height of the conflict, from 1965 to 1973. In a real-life version of the psychedelic war portrayed in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Sherry Buchanan tells the fascinating story of how the humble Zippo became a talisman and companion for American GIs during their tours of duty. Through a dazzling array of images, we see how Zippo lighters were used during the war, and we discover how they served as a canvas for both personal and political expression during the Age of Aquarius, engraved with etchings of peace signs and marijuana leaves and slogans steeped in all the rock lyrics, sound bites, combat slang, and antiwar mottos of the time.

Death from Above. Napalm Sticks to Kids. I Love You Mom, From a Lonely Paratrooper. The engravings gathered in this copiously illustrated volume are at once searing, caustic, and moving, running the full emotional spectrum with both sardonic reflections—I Love the Fucking Army and the Army Loves Fucking Me—and poignant maxims—When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power, the World Will Know Peace. Part pop art and part military artifact, they collectively capture the large moods of the sixties and the darkest days of Vietnam—all through the world of the tiny Zippo.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Playboy

"For American soldiers in Vietnam, the Zippo lighter was an essential talisman; its chrome casing was also a convenient canvas on which fighters expressed their anger and frustration. In Vietnam Zippos these unique artifacts tell the story of a war gone sour. Lyndon Johnson’s observation that ‘ultimate victory will depend upon the hearts and minds of the people’ inspired the gleeful savagery of ‘Give me your hearts and minds or I will wreck your fucking huts’; another solider rephrases Psalm 23 with ‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the jungle of death, I will fear no evil, for I am the evilest son of a bitch in the jungle.’ Later as enthusiasm for the war ebbed, lighters feature such deep thoughts as ‘When the power of love is as strong as the love of power, then there will be peace.’ Truer words were never engraved."

Armchair General

“Zippo is as distinctly American as apple pie, the Stars & Stripes and the girl next door. . . . Whether carried as a talisman or as simply a convenient, easily-concealable object upon which to privately ‘rage against the machine,’ these Vietnam Zippos represent a previously untapped source for studying the ‘new military history’ of those who fought our most divisive war. . . . This book is highly recommended.”—Armchair General
Army Times

"Lavishly illustrated. . . . A subgenre of battlefield art that has probably never been collected as thoroughly or presented as elegantly as in 'Vietnam Zippos'. . . . [The lighters] tell hundreds of stories . . . and each one makes the book worth reading."

San Francisco Chronicle

"During the Vietnam War, the Zippo lighter was an indispensable part of a GI's uniform. . . . At a time when American men and women are again fighting an unpopular war in a faraway land, it is fitting to remember the philosophers of that war who passionately reflected on their circumstances in this humble yet personal medium."

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Sobering . . . Using Zippos from the collection of artist Bradford Edwards, Buchanan shows the personal histories of some of the millions who served [in Vietnam]. This unique approach is by turns funny, pornographic, informative and heartbreaking."

New York Times Book Review - Steven Heller

"[Vietnam Zippos] documents what the author, Sherry Buchanan, calls ‘amulets and talismans bringing the keeper invulnerability, good luck and protection against evil.’ Sadly, these personalized mementos also served as last testaments for many who were killed in action. . . . . This book, well designed and photographed by Misha Anikst, offers a rare personal dimension. The mottoes on these lighters, like ‘When I die I will go to heaven because I spent my time in hell,’ provide candid insight into what these soldiers thought of the war."

Pennsylvania Heritage

"The engravings on lighters featured in this copiously illustated volume are at once searing, caustic, sentimental, humorous, but always moving, running the full emotional spectrum with both sardonic reflections and poignant maxims. Part pop art and part military artifact, they collectively capture the mood of the sixties and the darkest days of Vietnam."
Midwest Book Review

"A fascinating and specialized military cultural history that is a unique and recommended contribution to the growing library of Vietnam War histories."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226078281
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherry Buchanan is an independent scholar, author, and publisher of Asian and Vietnamese contemporary art, history, and culture. A former features editor at the Wall Street Journal, she has served as a columnist for the International Herald Tribune in Brussels, Paris, London, and Hong Kong. She remains active in children’s charities in Vietnam and is a member of the London committee of Human Rights Watch.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2007

    What it was like

    In 1992 I had the opportunity to buy a bag of about 30 Vietnam Zippos from an oriental man in a California flea market. I collected these and Vietnams were hard to find. 'Fifty Dollah, whole bag', he said, and I was really interested. 'Where did you get these?' I asked. The answer he gave made me drop the bag and walk away. I had chills up and down my body, and when I read this book they all came back. The book is a good primer to the war, giving locations, units, and history. But the stories connected to the lighters, and the pictures themselves give this book a macabre, personal,yet, poetic feel for the time, place and the personnel involved. These small details are the reason we should never forget the sacrifices these men gave.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)