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This passionate, epic account of the Vietnam War centers on Lt. Col. John Paul Vann, whose story illuminates America's failures and disillusionment in Southeast Asia. Vann was a field adviser to the army when American involvement was just beginning. He quickly became appalled at the corruption of the South Vietnamese regime, their incompetence in fighting the Communists, and their brutal alienation of their own people. Finding his superiors too blinded by political lies to understand that the war was being thrown away, he secretly briefed reporters on what was really happening. One of those reporters was Neil Sheehan. This definitive expose on why America lost the war won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1989.
Killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam in 1972, controversial Lt. Col. John Paul Vann was perhaps the most outspoken army field adviser to criticize the way the war was being waged. Appalled by the South Vietnamese troops' unwillingness to fight and their random slaughter of civilians, he flouted his supervisors and leaked his sharply pessimistic (and, as it turned out, accurate) assessments to the U.S. press corps in Saigon. Among them was Sheehan, a reporter for UPI and later the New York Times (for whom he obtained the Pentagon Papers). Sixteen years in the making, writing and re search, this compelling 768-page biography is an extraordinary feat of reportage: an eloquent, disturbing portrait of a man who in many ways personified the U.S. war effort. Blunt, idealistic, patronizing to the Vietnamese, Vann firmly believed the U.S. could win; as Sheehan limns him, he was ultimately caught up in his own illusions. The author weaves into one unified chronicle an account of the Korean War (in which Vann also fought), the story of U.S. support for French colonialism, descriptions of military battles, a critique of our foreign policy and a history of this all-American boy's secret personal liehe was illegitimate, his mother a "white trash" prostitutethat led him to recklessly gamble away his career. 100,000 first printing; first serial to the New Yorker; BOMC main selection ; a uthor tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A compelling combination of personal and political history. It gives you insight into a fascinating individual who saw the flaws in America's Vietnam policy yet tried to salvage... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Gary Malone
Neil Sheehan's book offers a fascinating depiction of the events surrounding the onset and unfolding of the American war in Viet Nam as told from the perspective of Lt. Col. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Opera lover
If anyone is interested in why the US effort in Vietnam was doomed to failure, this is the book you should read or if you felt the US could have won the war in Vietnam, this is the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by George H. Petrin
Since 1969 I have been engaged in an aid program to be realized when the war has come to an end. From 1969 I studied the needs and possibilities until 1945 when a huge program was... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Magnus Spangenberg
A fascinating study of the Vietnam war through the experience of one participant, and of his life. The story works both as history and biography, with sections covering the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrew Gibbs
700 pages of meticulous research was just about 350 pages too much. I was overwhelmed even before I started.Published 2 months ago by ralaviro
I give this book one star for two reasons, first it is WAY overly wordy. It took the guy, like, what, 16 years to write it, and, guess what, no writers' block in that whole... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Timothy P. Redmond
This book is a big lie. It is because of the bias, leftist works of these ignorant reporters which has destroyed my own country.Published 3 months ago by Nguyen Thai Binh