Journalists possess critical responsibilities—one is simply to inform, another is to explain. As a military photojournalist during the Vietnam Era, Bob Bowen has captured visually with his camera and explained eloquently with his written words, the horrors and the honorable service of that period. In his new book My Life and Lens, Bowen articulates not only high action combat but the artful subtleties and tactics of warfare. He writes so well that the reader is pulled into the stories as if there in person.
It is one thing to provide facts to America’s cumulative history; it’s another to display the facts through personal experiences. One will learn through reading this memoir that the life of a journalist in a war zone could be short-lived. It is dangerous work; but when successful, the work informs. This is what makes Bowen’s book such a compelling read.
This memoir is an excellent pictorial and literary contribution not only to our nation’s history but in the recognition of those who honorably participated in that unpopular conflict. Respect is demonstrated to the families of the brave American heroes of this long-ago era by Bob Bowen’s memorializing them in his book. - Worth Earlwood Norman, Jr., retired account executive, EDS Corporation; author of two biographies—James Solomon Russell: Former Slave, Pioneer Educator, and Episcopal Evangelist (McFarland Publishing, 2012), William Jelks Cabaniss, Jr., Crossing Lines in His Business, Political and Diplomatic Life (Archdeacon Books, 2014) and one memoir, Six Bits: USMC 1962-1963 (My Years in USMC Bands 1962-1966) (Kindle eBook)
I predict this is a great book by Bob Bowen who is writing about his own life during the Vietnam War. Bob is an expert photographer and was a war correspondent and a fine writer. This job was dangerous. This book could really take off and be a great success. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Vietnam War. The war was a harrowing experience for the men involved, and they have never been given proper credit for their bravery. - Don Gilmore, author, Eyewitness Vietnam
The images you captured of our Marines in Vietnam are unequaled. Your book will be a smash hit! - Franklin Cox, author, Lullabies for Lieutenants
My friend Bob Bowen has been a member of The American Legion for more than four decades, during which time he has been totally devoted to our country, our veterans, and their families. This memoir details his insights not only into war and coming home, but also into the people who are Americans. His life is proof that when most veterans take off their uniforms, they don’t quit their service to the nation. My Life and Lens is the inspiring story of how one Marine is still serving America. - Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant, The American Legion
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I met Bob Bowen through the Sons of the American Revolution (the SAR). I did not know him during his career in the Marines. Bob and I used to fight all the time -- I don't even remember about what, but I do remember wondering why. One day, it hit me. Bob is a Marine, and I'm Irish -- we are bound to fight, unless we get make an effort not to. Once I accepted that Bob's whole approach to life is filtered though his experience and identity as a Marine, I came to understand him, to accept him, and genuinely to like him. I also discovered that beneath his very tough, Marine exterior is a man with a big heart, a man who is kind and considerate of others, fiercely patriotic and loyal, and remarkably sentimental. (He will probably want to kill me for writing this.) Bob's character comes through in My Life and Lens -- his dedication to the Corps and to his country, his insight, his toughness, his thoughtfulness. Reading My Life and Lens, I learned things about Bob I never knew, and I came to respect him even more than I did before. I also learned more about the Vietnam conflict than I ever knew. Bob is a natural story teller, both visually and with words. His narrative is compelling and quite moving. They should make a feature film based on this book. Anyone who has any interest in photojournalism, in the Vietnam War, or in late 20th century American history, needs to read this book. After reading My Life and Lens, all I could think was God bless the Marines! God bless Bob Bowen! Joseph W. Dooley, President General (2013-2014), National Society, Sons of the American Revolution