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The Girl in the Picture: The Remarkable Story of Vietnam's Most Famous Casualty [Hardcover]

Denise Chong
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Sep 2000
Kim Phuc was nine years old in 1972. Severely burned by napalm, she ran from her burning village and was captured on film. Denise Chong relates Kim's experience and recovery in this astonishing biography and history of America's shameful war. The photograph of Kim, seen around the world, was one of many to turn public opinion against the war in Vietnam. This is the story of how the picture came to be and also what happened to Kim after it was taken. It provides an insight into the country Vietnam became after the US army left, and explains why Kim finally had to flee to Canada, where she now lives.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (18 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743208471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743208475
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.4 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 868,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a truly inspirational read. From explaining about the Vietnam War through to how this famous child beat the odds to become a mother and "normal" person in a societ which craves public-interest stories. As we get to know Kim and her family we can feel their pain and horror, then their faith and joy as Kim walks on an incredible journey of recovery and discovery.The biography follows Kim and her family as they come to terms with the Viet-cong, the Americans and then the ultimate horror of war. As Kim grows and copes with her own personal war we are reminded of the strength of the human spirit, and why we should never ever give up.I am recommending this to all my friends and family.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating story with great history included. 17 July 2008
This is more than a harrowing story of one persons struggle in war torn Vietnam. This is a captivating story of the relative recent history of Vietnam and the involvement in it of an unfortunate little girl. The story of Kim Phuc, `the girl in the picture', is fascinating, and whilst the main thread is wound around the napalm inflicted wounds on the nine year old Phuc the episode serves to take the reader through the changes experienced by the country and its people since the start of the Vietnam War. I found myself gaining a far clearer understanding of the conflict and the connection of each of the different parties involved. The mood and condition of the country and its society were brilliantly conveyed throughout the story, without being heavy and over loaded with political detail. I had long wanted to read a book that would convey the basics of the Vietnam War without the burden of reading a large volume. This book met my requirements exactly, being entertaining, interesting and informative on many levels.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once started you'll find this hard to put down. 20 Mar 2007
I remember seeing 'The girl in the Picture' when it first appeared as a photograph of the Viet Nam war in 1972 and shocked the world. In the following years, Kim, the girl in the picture, would crop up in the news -her new life - her charitable foundation etc. It was if the picture would never go away. The book takes you through a very moving story, a detailed and readable account of the war, and off course Kim herself and those who help her. You'd need a heart of stone not to be moved and might want to read it privately for I defy anyone not to shed a tear as they turn the pages. Don't get me wrong, this is not a 'weepy', just a very powerful non judgemental story. The reader makes their own judgement of the events. All these years later I'm glad I got round to reading about her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A victim and an opportunist! 9 Mar 2009
Very well written story of Kim Phuc, the girl who was horrifically burned by a misplaced napalm bomb in her village not far from Saigon.
The story tells of how her family went from comfortable middle class, to abject poverty and hardship after the war ended and communism took control.

Her picture appeared all over the world and went a long way in convincing a doubting American public that this war was wrong and U.S involvement in it was unjust and immoral.

Then the book tells how the Communist regime used her fame over the picture, to profit from her and set up endless interviews and propaganda stunts with her and the foreign press.

To be fair to Kim Phuc, she shows a remarkable resilience, in not only recovering from horrific injuries as she did, but also in how she manipulated her infamy to her own advantage on many occasions.
She managed to obtain a scholarship to Cuba, through her friendship with a high ranking Government Minister, where she lived for four years, until finally managing to claim refugee status in Canada, during a stopover on her return from a honeymoon in Russia.

She also shows a ruthlessness that few would possess.
She states candidly in the book, that she'd planned to stay in Canada by whatever means possible and her husband knew nothing of her plans until they were on the plane bound for Canada.
She also told him that she was going, regardless of whether he came with her or not. They had only been married weeks, at this point.
That takes some topping for a newly wed!
Her story is at times a sad one and also a happy one.
Many burn and bomb victims in the Vietnam conflict were not so lucky and were left to die from their injuries, she acknowledges this herself in the book.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read before you visit Vietnam 14 Mar 2010
An amazing, and at many times very disturbing, account of life in Vietnam during the war. Better than a history book. It gave me a great insight into the workings of the country before I visited it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the girl in the picture 31 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Kim Phuc was 9 on 8 june 1972 when her village was napalm bombed by South Vietnamese planes on the orders of the Americans.Many of the villagers of Trang Bang were killed or injured one of whom Kim Phuc had all her clothes burnt and her severely burned.She was photographed running naked away from the flames and became known as "the girl in thw picture" This picture and 2 others of seperate incidents fully documented the horrors and barbarity of war. Kims story is well written documenting her life in Vietnam,Germany, Russia,Cuba and eventuallyCanada where she sought asylum.Although she was well treated she was ruthlessly exploited for propaganda purposes.The central government treated her well but there was much jealousy from local officials.Abook to be recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Shed a few tears
I really liked this book, I found it very moving even to the point of tears so had to put it down, What a courageous person. well worth reading
Published 2 months ago by Miss Debbie McGowan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great awareness raiser
An amazing journey to find and expose who she is and why in the picture - and helps expose the horrors of the war
Published 4 months ago by Paul Bach
2.0 out of 5 stars review
It was very heavy going.
I was recommended it by a friend and although in Cambodia at the time of reading, it was slow moving and I kept having to put it down
Published 9 months ago by Anne Hicks
4.0 out of 5 stars Considerable insight into the local history at that time.
Worth reading to understand a bit more about what really happened in Vietnam during the war period and after it.
Published 10 months ago by Izibee
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that must be read
A story of a people and a persons fight against the odds. If you've seen the photo you'll want to know the full story, if you haven't seen the photo make sure you do.
Published 12 months ago by Tony Painter
5.0 out of 5 stars the best read ever
I read this book cover to cover in just one weekend. I couldn't put it down even though it had me in tears on more than one occasion. Very well written and easy to to read. Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars at last - the untold story
This is a unique and gripping account of the impact of the Vietnam war on ordinary people. The relentless terror and oppression brought to bear on these people is unimaginable and... Read more
Published 17 months ago by thetruthshallsetyefree
3.0 out of 5 stars Kim's story
Chose to read it as was visiting vietnam, and thought it would add colour to my holiday.
It was interesting to read about the war and the vietnamese perspective. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Tina
5.0 out of 5 stars enlightening and passionate account
A most intersting book about the most famous picture of an infamous war. it has been used for four decades as an indictement of America's war crimes. Read more
Published on 8 Jun 2012 by Marco Carnovale
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