A multitude of literary and cinematic works were spawned by the Vietnam war, but this is a unique book, combining moving prose with powerful illustrations created by combat artists in the U.S. military. Dr. Noble has assembled a remarkable collection of 153 reproductions printed in black and white, arranged with oral histories, letters and other commentaries to give the reader a more intimate understanding of the combat soldier who served in Vietnam and what he had to endure. Forgotten Warriors is not intended to argue the merits of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Rather, through the visual impact of the illustrations, the soldiers themselves express what the Vietnam experience was like in a way that is different and more profound than perhaps any other work on the subject.
The main focus of the book is on the way artists saw the world of the grunt: patrols, life in the rear, fighting the terrain and weather, tests of endurance, the machines of war and the effects of combat and its aftermath. The reader is also given a sense of how some writers and artists felt about the country and the people of South Vietnam. To date, our perceptions of the Vietnam war have been influenced largely by movies, television and novels. Recognizing this, Dr. Noble enlisted Professor William J. Palmer, a noted authority on the media and their reportage fo the war, to provide an essay that allows the reader to compare his or her past impressions with the art works contained in this book. A moving collection, Forgotten Warriors offers the truest picture of the Vietnam war in human terms.