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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 From back cover: — "At first glance he appeared a runty man. He stood five feet eight inches and weighed 150 pounds. An unusual physical stamina and an equally unusual assertiveness more than compensated for this shortness of stature. His constitution was extraordinary. It permitted him to turn each day into two days for an ordinary man. He ... more »required only four hours of sleep in normal times and could function effectively with two hours of sleep for extended periods. he could, and routinely did, put two eight-hour working days in every twenty-four and still had half a working day in which to relax and amuse himself...
"Vann had no physical fear. He made a habit of frequently spending the night at South Vietnamese militia outposts and survived a number of assaults against these little isolated forts of brick and sandbag blockhouses and mud walls, taking up a rifle to help the militiamen repel the attack. He drove roads that no one else would drive, to prove they could be driven, and in the process drove with slight injury through several ambushes. He landed his helicopter at district capitals and fortified camps in the midst of assaults to assist the defenders, ignoring the shelling and the antiaircraft machine guns, defying the enemy gunners to kill him. In the course of the decade he acquired a reputation for invulnerability. Time and again he took risks that killed other men and always survived. The odds, he said, did not apply to him."« less