Archive for the 'Magazines' Category

ISO Photos of the President Hotel in Saigon


Fay Torresyap, a photo researcher for French magazine GEO is working on an article about a hotel in Saigon, which, she says, which was “built in the 1960s for the American army, ” and “known as the ‘President Hotel’  at 727 Tran Hung Dao near Cholon district.”

The hotel, she says, “was at least 12 floors tall with a dancing hall and a swimming pool on the roof.  Our understanding is that this building was used by the Military Assistance Command Vietnam and perhaps also the Post Engineer’s Compound #1.”

The magazine is looking for photos of the building “inside and out, showing its life and history during the Vietnam War period.” If you have one you’d like to share, call  212-463-8711 or email

If you do, tell them you read about the project on The VVA Veteran‘s Arts of War on the web page


Posted on November 8th 2013 in Artistic Queries, Magazines

Caputo on the Road


Last Sunday’s New York Times Travel section included an article featuring Philip Caputo, headlined “To See America, Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist.”

In it, Caputo–the Pulitzer-Prize-winning former journalist who served as a U.S. Marine lieutenant in Vietnam and whose memoir, A Rumor of War, remains among the best of its genre—reflects on a recent road trip he took that is the subject of his upcoming book, The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, From Key West to the Arctic Ocean.

The article contains excerpts from a conversation Caputo had recently with William Least Heat-Moon, the author of Blue Highways and  PrairyErth(A Deep Map). His latest, book, Here, There, Elsewhere: Stories From the Road,  is a collection of short travel essays.

For more info on Caputo’s new book, go to his website.





Posted on July 15th 2013 in Book News, Magazines

Photographer Looking For Veterans going to VN in January

Catherine Karnow, a National Geographic photographer who has been documenting Vietnam for twenty-one years for that august publication as well as for other magazines and books, is putting the final touches on a presentation about that country for the National Geographic Live Speakers Bureau.

“I have one gaping hole in my coverage of Vietnam, though,” Karnow told us, “and that is the story of American veterans returning to Vietnam for reasons of healing, reconciliation, and personal growth.”

She is planning to go to Vietnam on January 15 for two weeks, and is “very much hoping to find a group [of Vietnam veterans] going in this time period. Ideally, a really interesting situation of some kind would be a real plus.”

If you’re part of a Vietnam veterans’ group going to Vietnam then, Karnow would love to hear from you.

Email her ASAP at or call 415-928-3232 or 415-305-8181. If you do, tell her that you read about the project on The VVA Veteran‘s Arts of War on the web page.



Posted on January 7th 2013 in Artistic Queries, Magazines, Photography

Jeff Stein on Spycraft


Former VVA Veteran editor Jeff Stein had an interesting article in the February 12 edition of The Washington Post Magazine. In “What Makes a Perfect Spy Tick?”  Stein examines the lives of intelligence operatives in several wars. He also delves into his experiences working in Vietnam in Army intelligence during the war.

“I spent a year living undercover and running a spy net,” Stein writes. “But other than connecting briefly with a secret courier on a deserted beach every few days and slipping into decrepit hotels for meetings with my top spy, it wasn’t anything like the scenario we had been trained for, to dispatch agents into Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe from West Berlin.”

Nevertheless, Stein writes, his service in the Vietnam War “was the most interesting, and perhaps meaningful, thing I’ve ever done. The mission, to prevent or disrupt rocket attacks on [Danang] or U.S. troops, was important. The war stunk, but I wasn’t shooting at anybody, and I was good at being a spy. I won a medal and came home relatively unscarred.”

A free-lance writer, editor, and author, Stein writes the SpyTalk blog, subtitled “Intelligence for Thinking People.”

Posted on February 13th 2012 in Magazines

Leo Cullum, 1942-2010

Leo Cullum, 68, one of the nation’s most prolific and celebrated cartoonists, died of cancer October 23 in Los Angeles. Cullum, who had more than 800 of his light-hearted cartoons—many featuring dogs and cats, businessmen and doctors—in The New Yorker, flew 200 missions as a Marine Corps aviator in Vietnam in 1966-67.

Culum grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts in 1963 with a degree in English. He had joined the college’s Air Force ROTC program, then had switched to the Marines’ Platoon Leaders Class so that he could finish his military training during the summer.

As soon as he graduated Cullum was commissioned a Marine Corps second lieutenant. In August 1963 he underwent flight training in Pensacola, Fla. Cullum then took advanced jet training on the F-4B Phantom and shipped out to Vietnam in April of 1966

Based first in Danang and later in Chu Lai, Cullum went on to  fly 200 missions, including some secret bombing runs over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. “Who these were secret from I’m still not sure,” Cullum told Holy Cross Magazine. “The North Vietnamese certainly knew it wasn’t the Swiss bombing them.”

After his Marine Corps discharge in 1968, Cullum went right to work for TWA as a pilot. He put in 34 years flying for T.W.A. and American Airlines until his retirement at age 60 in 2002.

Leo Cullum started drawing cartoons during layovers. His first one was published in Air Line Pilot Magazine in the mid seventies. Then he began selling his work to other publications, including True, Argosy, The Saturday Evening Post, and Sports Afield. Cullum’s  first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 1977.

He continued published cartoons in that august publication for more than 35 years. “Leo’s cartoons were a perfect marriage of drawing and caption,” the acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast noted in her appreciation of Cullum.  “His gags were truly out there: unexpected and completely loopy.

“In one of his cartoons, a group of cavemen sit on rocks around a campfire, which is, as we know from cartoons, what cavemen do. Another caveman points toward an empty rock and asks the group, ‘Is anyone using this rock?’”

The New York Times, among other newspapers, published an admiring obituary of Leo Cullum on October 26.

Posted on November 2nd 2010 in Art, Magazines, Obituaries

Vietnam Magazine – On Line

The brand new Vietnam magazine website went live last week.  In addition to content from the magazine, the new reader-friendly, content-heavy site includes extras such as former Vietnam War correspondent Don North’s video pod casts called “Dispatches.”

There also are interactive features, including a gallery of photos from a photo essay in the October 2010 dealing with images of troops’ decorated helmets in Vietnam in which visitors can  upload photographs of their own Vietnam War helmet art.

The new home page also has an embedded video of a recent presentation on the new VA PTSD rules by David Houppert,  VVA’s Veterans Benefits director, and Tom Berger, the former Chair of VVA’s PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee who is executive director of VVA’s Veterans Health Council.

Posted on August 1st 2010 in Arts on the Web, Magazines

Tim O’Brien on Verisimilitude in Fiction

Tim O’Brien, the much-honored novelist whose work is strongly influenced by his Vietnam War service has an interesting essay called “Telling Tails” that deals with what he calls “the centrality of imagination in enduring fiction” in the current, 2009 fiction issue of The Atlantic.

He begins with the tail story, a lighthearted on centering on his two young children (Timmy and Tad), which may or may not be true,and probably isn’t. Then he goes on to discuss his subject.

“In general,” O’Brien says, fictional topics are “born out of writing workshops, in which I’ve noticed, almost always to my alarm, that classroom discussion seems to revolve almost exclusively around issues of verisimilitude. Declarations such as these abound: I didn’t believe in that character. I need to know more about that character’s background. I can’t see that character’s face. I don’t understand why that character would behave so insipidly (or violently, or whatever).

“These are legitimate questions. But for me, as a reader, the more dangerous problem with unsuccessful stories is usually much less complex: I am bored. And I would remain bored even if the story were packed with pages of detail aimed at establishing verisimilitude. I would believe in the story, perhaps, but I would still hate it. To provide background and physical description and all the rest is of course vital to fiction, but vital only insofar as such detail is in the service of a richly imagined story, rather than in the service of good botany or good philosophy or good geography.”

If you’re in the San Antonio, Texas, area, you can hear Tim O’Brien in person. He’ll be doing a reading on Monday, Sept. 21, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Philip’s College’s Watson Fine Arts Center in The President’s Lecture Series. O’Brien (that’s him above in Vietnam) will be reading from his critically and popularly acclaimed 1990 book of linked-short stories (featuring main character Tim O’Brien) The Things They Carried.

For additional information, call 210-486-2376, or go to

Posted on September 17th 2009 in Book News, Magazines

The Fantasticks in 1969 — in Vietnam

When you think of entertainment for the troops in Vietnam during the war, you naturally think of the Bob Hope USO extravaganzas. But the U.S. military also provided lots of stage entertainment–including rock music by Philippine bands, comedians from the states, and folk, soul, country and rock bands and even musical comedies performed by Special Service GI’s under a unit called the Command Military Touring Shows.

That includes 1969-70 run of the famed Off Off Broadway sensation, The Fantasticks, put together by a group of eleven soldiers and one female civilian employee. There’s a great article about that not very well known production in the current issue of Esopus, the eccentric, eclectic, glossy black and white nonprofit arts magazine.

The article, “OFF-OFF-OFF BROADWAY,” is an oral history by four of the GI’s who were in the show: Rick Holen, Joe Mauro, John Nutt, and Bob Sevra.

“The GIs seemed to be transported to another plane of existence during the performances,” Holen says. “The play lasted only about an hour and a half, but for that short period of time, we felt that we could put at least a temporary stop to the death and devastation, the boredom and total terror of war. The audiences would sometimes give us a standing ovation for five minutes. That is the magic of theater.”

Posted on May 12th 2009 in Magazines, Musicals

Komunyakaa on Skin Color

Yusef Komunyakaa, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet who served in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam (and whose war-time service is a theme he often returns to in his work), had a terrific article in last Sunday’s (January 18) Washington Post Magazine. The article, “The Colors in My Dreams,” is a thoughtful reminiscence/essay in which the poet (who teaches creative writing at NYU) goes back to his childhood in Louisiana and to discuss matters of race, focusing on the personal politics of skin color. The long article is well-written, well-thought-out, and insightful.

Posted on January 19th 2009 in Magazines

More on David Rabe

Photo by Tina Barney

Photo by Tina Barney

There’s a terrific profile of the playwright David Rabe by John Lahr in the November 24 New Yorker. In the article, headlined “Land of Lost Souls: David Rabe’s America,” Lahr deconstructs all of Rabe’s work for the stage, including Streamers, one of four of Rabe’s plays set during the Vietnam War.

Lahr tells us that Rabe began Streamers—which is now playing through January 11 at the Roundabout Theatre in New York—”soon after he was discharged, in 1967, from the Army’s 68th Medical Group.” According to the article, Rabe was drafted into the Army in 1965, when he was 25, after having dropped out of graduate school (in theater at Villanova). He spent a year in Vietnam “doing clerical work and guard duty and building hospitals.” Rabe’s unit, Lahr notes, “was not under daily threat; he was not exposed, he said, ‘to the horrors of risk.”’

Although Rabe felt “secondhand guilt about not being in a combat unit,” his service in the Vietnam War had a long and strong impact on his post-war life and his writing career. To find out the details, check out the article on line.

Posted on November 24th 2008 in Drama, Magazines