Art and Architecture, Books for the News, History

Vietnam Zippos in the NYTBR

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The New York Times Book Review ran a piece about Sherry Buchanan’s new book Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers’ Engravings and Stories in last Sunday’s holiday books wrap up. Placing Buchanan’s book on his list of new art and design books for the season, reviewer Steven Heller writes:

For grunts fighting the Vietnam War, statements of patriotism and protest found an outlet… on metal Zippo lighters. Vietnam Zippos, illustrated with objects from the collection of the artist Bradford Edwards, 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.
An extensive published record exists for documents and relics from the Vietnam War, yet 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.

Read the rest of the review on the NYTBR website.