'Vietnam: The Real War' - a book of 300 seminal images from the Associated Press

The Vietnam War is sometimes referred to as the 'last newspaper war' - there were TV news reporters there, but their cameras weren't as discreet and portable as 35mm stills cameras and we didn't yet have rolling news coverage. The conflict's iconic images were seen in print, and iconic they were. Many of them are immediately recognisable even if you never saw them on the day that they were published. The Associated Press had over 50 photographers posted to Vietnam, four of whom won Pulitzer prizes for their coverage. Their images documented the war from positions of unequalled battlefront access and today, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the conflict, 300 of their images are being published in a new book: Vietnam: The Real War.

In the first of a series of fiery suicides by Buddhist monks, Thich Quang Duc burns himself to death on a Saigon street to protest persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government, June 11, 1963. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne)

Fifty years on, even after seeing them so many times, these images never fail to shock, horrify, or give you cause to reflect. The collection includes Malcolm Brown's photo of a Buddhist monk self-immolating on a Saigon street in 1963. It was this image, supposedly, that prompted President John F. Kennedy to say: 'We’ve got to do something about that regime.' And there's Nick Ut's photo of a scorched, naked girl fleeing a napalm attack, the veracity of which President Richard Nixon allegedly questioned. Showing the impact of the war on civilians, soldiers, and rebels, the book is a testimony to the power of conflict reporting.

An unidentified American soldier wears a hand-lettered slogan on his helmet, June 1965. The soldier was serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade on defense duty at the Phuoc Vinh airfield. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

The book's introduction is by Pete Hammill, who reported from Vietnam in 1965. 'Across the years of the war in Vietnam, the AP photographers saw more combat than any general,' he says. 'This book shows how good they were. As a young reporter, I had learned much from photographers about how to see, not merely look. From Vietnam, photographers taught the world how to see the war.'

A woman mourns over the body of her husband after identifying him by his teeth, and covering his head with her conical hat. The man’s body was found with forty-seven others in a mass grave near Hue, April 11, 1969. The victims were believed killed during the insurgent occupation of Hue as part of the Tet Offensive. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

Vietnam: The Real War is available to buy from Amazon for £24.99