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Outspoken, professional and fearless, Lt. Col. John Paul Vann went to Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. He was soon appalled by the South Vietnamese troops' unwillingness to fight, by their random slaughter of civilians and by the arrogance and corruption of the US military. He flouted his supervisors and leaked his sharply pessimistic - and, as it turned out, accurate - assessments to the US press corps in Saigon. Among them was Sheehan, who became fascinated by the angry Vann, befriended him and followed his tragic and reckless career. Sixteen years in the making, A Bright Shining Lie is an eloquent and disturbing portrait of a man who in many ways personified the US war effort in Vietnam, of a solider cast in the heroic mould, an American Lawrence of Arabia. Blunt, idealistic, patronising to the Vietnamese, Vann was haunted by a shameful secret - the fact that he was the illegitimate son of a 'white trash' prostitute. Gambling away his career, Vann left the army that he loved and returned to Vietnam as a civilian in the pacification programme. He rose to become the first American civilian to wield a general's command in war. When he was killed in 1972, he was mourned at Arlington cemetery by leading political figures of the day. Sheehan recounts his astonishing story in this intimate and intense meditation on a conflict that scarred the conscience of a nation.
Offers forty-three essays on popular expressions of diverse aspects of the Vietnam War, including women war correspondents, atrocities, desertion, and the Kent State shootings.
In the opening years of the Vietnam War, a small group of American military advisors and their South Vietnamese allies were facing down the Viet Cong. The confident Americans were there to do what seemed elementary: help the South Vietnamese army defeat a ragtag guerrilla enemy. They were assured of swift success. But one officer, John Paul Vann, saw darker omens for the future—and in the Battle of Ap Bac, the Viet Cong proved him correct. Encapsulating the great terrors, mistakes, ironies, and courageous acts of the Vietnam War, “The Battle of Ap Bac” recounts the clash in which the Viet Cong first won their spurs. It is an exciting, terrifying, fast-paced portrait of close-contact warfare in the rice paddies, the story of John Vann’s attempt to singlehandedly change the terms of battle and avoid the relentless killing grounds of Vietnam that lay ahead. A key selection from Neil Sheehan’s masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie—which remains the preeminent history of the Vietnam War—it offers a prescient warning for current conflicts between powerful forces and underestimated foes. A Vintage Shorts Vietnam Selection. An ebook short.
List Pulitzer Prize winners in thirty-nine different categories, arranged chronologically, with biographical and career information, selected works, other awards, and a brief commentary, along with material on Pulitzer.
The performance of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) at the Battle of Ap Bac, January 2, 1963, established a narrative that the South Vietnamese were unwilling to fight or lacked aggressiveness. At the time of the Battle of Ap Bac, the South Vietnamese had been receiving direct military aid from the US and under the tutelage of American advisors for over eight years. Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann was the senior US Army advisor present and remarked after the battle, “It was a miserable damn performance, just like it always is. These people won’t listen. They make the same mistake over and over again in the same way.” In the context of those comments, ARVN did not show an appreciable increase in combat effectiveness with years of direct American support. The larger narrative surrounding the battle indicates that the performance of ARVN was a harbinger for future challenges and setbacks in South Vietnam. This battle and subsequent evaluation of the ARVN attribute the cause for combat ineffectiveness was the South Vietnamese lacking leadership and not possessing the necessary fighting spirit. Is the evaluation that the outcome of the Battle of Ap Bac hinged on the ARVN’s lack of aggressiveness still valid when put in the broader cultural, social, and political context that existed at its birth?
An up-to-date and indispensable guide for film history buffs of all kind, this book surveys more than 500 major films based on true stories and historical subject matter.

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