ARCHIVE VIDEO: Phillip Jones Griffiths Interview, 1993

Philip Jones Griffiths was a Welsh-born photojournalist known for his coverage of the Vietnam war. Griffiths studied pharmacy but started as a freelance photographer in 1961, traveling to Algeria in 1962. He arrived in Vietnam in 1966, working for the Magnum agency. Magnum found his images difficult to sell to American magazines, as they concentrated on the suffering of the Vietnamese people and reflected Griffiths’s view of the war as an episode in the continuing decolonisation of former European possessions. However, his images of the US president’s wife Jackie Kennedy vacationing with a male friend in Cambodia were eagerly purchased by the same magazines that had previously rejected him. The proceeds from these photos enabled him to continue his coverage of Vietnam and to publish his seminal book Vietnam Inc. in 1971. The book had a major influence on American perceptions of the war, and became a classic of photojournalism. In 2001 the book was reprinted with a foreword by Noam Chomsky.

Jones Griffiths died in 2008.

You can view his work at

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