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A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam Paperback – September 19, 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr Sheehan has performed a critical service by exposing how our system operated, and he has been justly recognized for it. I think Mr. Sheehan's readers can confirm what they probably already suspect: That all "great powers" operate like this -- from the beginning of time, and I'm sure to the end. The US was, tragically, no different than the English, Germans, French, Spanish, Medieval Popes, Chinese, Arabs, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, you name them at their respective heights. The difference, which I believe Mr. Sheehan was telling us, is that in our relatively free and democratic system there is a greater likelihood that the truth will be communicated in an unvarnished manner, and acted upon, but this did not happen in Vietnam for the many and varied reasons so vividly explained by Mr. Sheehan. What is so incredibly amazing, and I think a tremendous strength in this book, is how close one man, John Paul Vann, got to making the truth crystal clear at a high enough level where it might have done some good at the crucial time just prior to the beginning of the US military buildup. Think about it -- a lowly Light Bird Colonel ready to give the briefing of his life at one of the highest policy levels, and it was stopped only hours before the dam could have been burst.
One area I was hoping Mr.Read more ›
John Paul Vann's career in Vietnam spanned a decade, from its beginning in 1962 with Vann as U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and advisor to the South Vietnamese, to its end in 1972 with his death in a helicopter crash, Vann having become the civilian equivalent of a two-star general. During his decade in Vietnam, Vann was consistently frustrated and angry with the pusillanimous and corrupt performance of South Vietnamese forces and the frequent incompetence of American senior political and military leaders. He repeatedly urged his superiors, through normal channels and in the press, that the U.S. government could not defeat the Communist forces in South Vietnam with its military might alone. The war could only be won by the South Vietnamese with American assistance. That help, Vann recommended, should take the form of facilitating social change and providing military equipment and advice. By the time of his death, however, Vann's views had changed. After the near destruction of the Vietcong during the 1968 Tet offensive, he came to believe that America could indeed achieve a military victory in Vietnam.
Sheehan explores every aspect of Vann's life with the keen eye of the best biographers.Read more ›
Vann began his involvement with Vietnam as an Army Lt. Colonel. Because of both some personal troubles and his outspoken criticism of the ineffective and unnecessarily cruel way in which the war was being conducted, he was in effect cashiered, and he returned briefly to civilian life back in the United States. Yet Vann couldn't help but be drawn back into this country he had fallen in love with while doing his initial military tour. He found the opportunity to return to Vietnam as a civilian supporting the American military mission, and threw himself into the opportunity with characteristic energy and enthusiasm.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Bright Shining Lie is a biography of John Paul Vann. The book focuses mainly on his life as an advisor to the South Vietnameese army in the early 60's. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Joe
A look at John Paul Vann and his time in Vietnam. The lie is about Vietnam but also about John's personal issues. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Robert Sparrenberger
Amazing true story. John Paul Vann was my ROTC Instructor at Rutgers when he was a young Captain. He was an inspiration.Published 27 days ago by Robert Shapiro
A Bright Shining Lie is a biography of John Paul Vann. The book focuses mainly on his life as an advisor to the South Vietnameese army in the early 60's. Read morePublished 2 months ago by M Mahoney
A classis I read because I served under John Paul Vann. This was a gift.Published 2 months ago by John Walters
This book goes into incredible detail about the life of one man, and through that detail, one truly gets an appreciation for all of the intricacies of this sad chapter in American... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karl S.
Bought this for my husband and he found it to be astounding and eye opening about how the US lost the Vietnam War.Published 4 months ago by Jane