The story of Roger Steffens' life would be too crazy, rich, and curious to be believed if he didn’t have the pictures to prove it. Born in Brooklyn, Steffens was drafted into the Vietnam War in 1967. He joined a psychological operations unit, and as part of his service, he was given unlimited film and allowed to travel freely throughout the country documenting what he saw.
Amidst the chaos, destruction, and sadness of the war, Steffens ended up in a place called Coconut Island, a slip of land on the Mekong River that had been turned into a refuge for pacifists and deserters by a 4½-foot-tall hunchback monk. The experience was a turning point in his life: he became profoundly disenchanted with the war, and it was also there that he met his first wife, a war correspondent.