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A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
A Bright Shining Lie John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
Author: Neil Sheehan
When he came to Vietnam in 1962, Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann was the one clear-sighted participant in an enterprise riddled with arrogance and self-deception, a charismatic soldier who put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. By the time he died in 1972, Vann had...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780394484471
ISBN-10: 0394484479
Publication Date: 9/12/1988
Pages: 861
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 7

4.1 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
reviewed A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam on
Helpful Score: 1
Along with RUMORS OF WAR and DISPATCHES, this is one of the best books to read to learn what really happened in Vietnam... and unfortunately, maybe gain an understanding of what is now happening in Iraq.
reviewed A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam on + 534 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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 life; he was illegitimate, his mother a "white trash" prostitute that led him to recklessly gamble away his career.
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reviewed A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam on + 384 more book reviews
this book reveals the truth of the war in Viet Nam.
a very timely read


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