Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans. Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won. A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam–a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war. From the Hardcover edition.
John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
Author: Neil Sheehan
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.
John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
Author: Neil Sheehan
Publisher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
“The WikiLeaks of its day” (Time) is as relevant as ever to present-day American politics. “The most significant leaks of classified material in American history.” –The Washington Post Not Fake News! The basis for the 2018 film The Post by Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, The Pentagon Papers are a series of articles, documents, and studies examining the Johnson Administration’s lies to the public about the extent of US involvement in the Vietnam War, bringing to light shocking conclusions about America’s true role in the conflict. Published by The New York Times in 1971, The Pentagon Papers riveted an already deeply divided nation with startling and disturbing revelations about the United States' involvement in Vietnam. The Washington Post called them “the most significant leaks of classified material in American history” and they remain relevant today as a reminder of the importance of a free press and First Amendment rights. The Pentagon Papers demonstrated that the government had systematically lied to both the public and to Congress. This incomparable, 848-page volume includes: The Truman and Eisenhower Years: 1945-1960 by Fox Butterfield Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam by Fox Butterfield The Kennedy Years: 1961-1963 by Hedrick Smith The Overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem: May-November, 1963 by Hedrick Smith The Covert War and Tonkin Gulf: February-August, 1964 by Neil Sheehan The Consensus to Bomb North Vietnam: August, 1964-February, 1965 by Neil Sheehan The Launching of the Ground War: March-July, 1965 by Neil Sheehan The Buildup: July, 1965-September, 1966 by Fox Butterfield Secretary McNamara’s Disenchantment: October, 1966-May, 1967 by Hedrick Smith The Tet Offensive and the Turnaround by E. W. Kenworthy Analysis and Comment Court Records Biographies of Key Figures With a brand-new foreword by James L. Greenfield, this edition of the Pulitzer Prize–winning story is sure to provoke discussion about free press and government deception, and shed some light on issues in the past and the present so that we can better understand and improve the future.
The Secret History of the Vietnam War
Author: Neil Sheehan,Hedrick Smith,E. W. Kenworthy,Fox Butterfield
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
This landmark work, based on Frances FitzGerald's own research and travels, takes us inside Vietnam-into the traditional, ancestor-worshiping villages and the corrupt crowded cities, into the conflicts between Communists and anti-Communists, Catholics and Buddhists, generals and monks -and reveals the country as seen through Vietnamese eyes. With a clarity and authority unrivaled by any book before it or since, Fire in the Lake shows how America utterly and tragically misinterpreted the realities of Vietnam.
Author: Frances FitzGerald
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pulitzer-prize winning author David Halberstam's eyewitness account of the most critical political period of U.S. involvement in Vietnam—the Kennedy/Diem era—remains as fresh and stimulating today as when it was first published in 1965. In the introduction to this edition, historian Daniel J. Singal provides crucial background information that was unavailable when the book was written.
America and Vietnam During the Kennedy Era
Author: David Halberstam,Daniel Joseph Singal
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
From Neil Sheehan, author of the Pulitzer Prize—winning classic A Bright Shining Lie, comes this long-awaited, magnificent epic. Here is the never-before-told story of the nuclear arms race that changed history–and of the visionary American Air Force officer Bernard Schriever, who led the high-stakes effort. A Fiery Peace in a Cold War is a masterly work about Schriever’s quests to prevent the Soviet Union from acquiring nuclear superiority, to penetrate and exploit space for America, and to build the first weapons meant to deter an atomic holocaust rather than to be fired in anger. Sheehan melds biography and history, politics and science, to create a sweeping narrative that transports the reader back and forth from individual drama to world stage. The narrative takes us from Schriever’s boyhood in Texas as a six-year-old immigrant from Germany in 1917 through his apprenticeship in the open-cockpit biplanes of the Army Air Corps in the 1930s and his participation in battles against the Japanese in the South Pacific during the Second World War. On his return, he finds a new postwar bipolar universe dominated by the antagonism between the United States and the Soviet Union. Inspired by his technological vision, Schriever sets out in 1954 to create the one class of weapons that can enforce peace with the Russians–intercontinental ballistic missiles that are unstoppable and can destroy the Soviet Union in thirty minutes. In the course of his crusade, he encounters allies and enemies among some of the most intriguing figures of the century: John von Neumann, the Hungarian-born mathematician and mathematical physicist, who was second in genius only to Einstein; Colonel Edward Hall, who created the ultimate ICBM in the Minuteman missile, and his brother, Theodore Hall, who spied for the Russians at Los Alamos and hastened their acquisition of the atomic bomb; Curtis LeMay, the bomber general who tried to exile Schriever and who lost his grip on reality, amassing enough nuclear weapons in his Strategic Air Command to destroy the entire Northern Hemisphere; and Hitler’s former rocket maker, Wernher von Braun, who along with a colorful, riding-crop-wielding Army general named John Medaris tried to steal the ICBM program. The most powerful men on earth are also put into astonishing relief: Joseph Stalin, the cruel, paranoid Soviet dictator who spurred his own scientists to build him the atomic bomb with threats of death; Dwight Eisenhower, who backed the ICBM program just in time to save it from the bureaucrats; Nikita Khrushchev, who brought the world to the edge of nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and John Kennedy, who saved it. Schriever and his comrades endured the heartbreak of watching missiles explode on the launching pads at Cape Canaveral and savored the triumph of seeing them soar into space. In the end, they accomplished more than achieving a fiery peace in a cold war. Their missiles became the vehicles that opened space for America. From the Hardcover edition.
Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon
Author: Neil Sheehan
David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new Foreword by Senator John McCain. Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.
Author: David Halberstam
Publisher: Modern Library
In the spring of 1972, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam in what became known as the Easter Offensive. Almost all of the American forces had already withdrawn from Vietnam except for a small group of American advisers to the South Vietnamese armed forces. The 23rd ARVN Infantry Division and its American advisers were sent to defend the provincial capital of Kontum in the Central Highlands. They were surrounded and attacked by three enemy divisions with heavy artillery and tanks but, with the help of air power, managed to successfully defend Kontum and prevent South Vietnam from being cut in half and defeated. Although much has been written about the Vietnam War, little of it addresses either the Easter Offensive or the Battle of Kontum. In Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam, Thomas P. McKenna fills this gap, offering the only in-depth account available of this violent engagement. McKenna, a U.S. infantry lieutenant colonel assigned as a military adviser to the 23rd Division, participated in the battle of Kontum and combines his personal experiences with years of interviews and research from primary sources to describe the events leading up to the invasion and the battle itself. Kontum sheds new light on the actions of U.S. advisers in combat during the Vietnam War. McKenna's book is not only an essential historical resource for America's most controversial war but a personal story of valor and survival.
The Battle to Save South Vietnam
Author: Thomas P. McKenna
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C." - H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion) Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning new analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on recently released transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. It also pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants. Dereliction Of Duty covers the story in strong narrative fashion, focusing on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public. Sure to generate controversy, Dereliction Of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam.
Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam
Author: H. R. McMaster
Publisher: Harper Collins
Provides a close-up look at the Vietnam War from the perspective of the journalists who reported on the war, including David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett, and Mal Browne. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett - Young War Correspondents and Their Early Vietnam Battles
Author: William Prochnau
Cindy Sheehan lost her son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, in an ambush in Sadr City, Baghdad, in early 2004. As information became available revealing that the war in Iraq was based on lies, she began speaking out against it and demanding the troops come home. In August 2005, she went to Texas, to ask President Bush to explain "the noble cause" for the war he cites in his speeches, and her efforts attracted thousands to create Camp Casey, and drew worldwide attention. This anti-war movement book is a clear, well-written statement of her case against the war and her plea for ending this senseless adventure. Equal parts compelling memoir and call to action, Not One More Mother's Child tells in Sheehan's distinctive voice how historical events and personal tragedy transformed her from grieving mom to ardent activist.
Author: Cindy Sheehan
Category: Political Science
A quarter century after its end, the Vietnam War still divides Americans. Some, mostly on the left, claim that Indochina was of no strategic value to the United States and was not worth an American war. Others, mostly on the right, argue that timid civilian leaders and defeatists within the media fatally undermined the war effort. These "lessons of Vietnam" have become ingrained in the American consciousness, at the expense of an accurate understanding of the war itself. In this groundbreaking reinterpretation of America's most disastrous and controversial war, Michael Lind demolishes the stale orthodoxies of the left and the right and puts the Vietnam War in its proper context -- as part of the global conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Cold War, he argues, was actually the third world war of the twentieth century, and the proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan were its major campaigns. Unwilling to engage each other in the heart of Europe, the superpowers played out their contest on the Asian front, while the rest of the world watched to see which side would retreat. As Lind shows, the Soviet Union and Communist China recognized the importance of Vietnam in this struggle and actively supported the North Vietnamese regime from its earliest days, a fact that was not lost on the strategic planners within the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. Lind offers a provocative reassessment of why the United States failed in Vietnam despite the high stakes. The ultimate responsibility for defeat lies not with the civilian policy elite nor with the press but with the military establishment, which failed to adapt to the demands of what before 1968 had been largely a guerrilla war. The high costs of the military's misguided approach in American and Vietnamese lives sapped the support of the American people for the U.S. commitment to Indochina. Even worse, the costs of the war undermined American public support for the Cold War on all fronts. Lind masterfully lays bare the deep cultural divisions within the United States that made the Cold War consensus so fragile and shows why it broke apart so easily. The consequence of U.S. military failure was thus the forfeiture of Indochina, a resurgence of American isolationism, and a wave of Soviet imperial expansion checked only by the Second Cold War of the 1980s. The New York Times has written of Michael Lind that he "defies the usual political categories of left and right, liberal and conservative." And in an era when the United States so often finds itself embroiled in prolonged and difficult conflicts -- in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq -- Lind offers a sobering cautionary tale to Americans of all political viewpoints.
The Necessary War
Author: Michael Lind
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Few places have been as influential as the Indian subcontinent in shaping the course of life on Earth. Yet its evolution has remained largely unchronicled. Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent fills this gap. From the oldest rocks, formed three billion years ago in Karnataka, to the arrival of our ancestors 50,000 years ago on the banks of the Indus, the author meticulously sifts through wide-ranging scientific disciplines and through the layers of earth to tell us the story of India, filled with a variety of fierce reptiles, fantastic dinosaurs, gargantuan mammals and amazing plants. Beautifully produced in full colour, with a rare collection of images, illustrations and maps, Indica is full of fascinating, lesser-known facts. It shows us how every piece of rock and inch of soil is a virtual museum, and how, over billions of years, millions of spectacular creatures have reproduced, walked and lived over and under it.
A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent
Author: Pranay Lal
Publisher: Random House India
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War. In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908– 1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a “hearts and mind” diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America’s giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to neverbefore-seen documents—including long-hidden love letters—Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish “T. E. Lawrence of Asia” from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975. Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called “ugly American,” this “engrossing biography” (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.
Author: Max Boot
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
As a kid, Noam Chomsky handed out the Daily Mirror at his uncle's newsstand on 72nd Street, inadvertently finding himself in a buzzing intellectual and political hub for European immigrants in New York. Iranian human rights Nobelist Shirin Ebadi and her husband signed their own legal contract, attempting to restore equality to their marriage after the Iranian Revolution effectively erased the legal rights of women. Elizabeth Warren set out to expose those frauds declaring bankruptcy and taking advantage of the system-only to discover, in her research, a very different story of hard-working middle-class families facing economic collapse in the absence of a social safety net. While studying at Oxford, a young Tariq Ali made a bet with a friend that he could work the Vietnam War into every single answer on his final exams. In this rousing, thoughtful, often funny, and always inspiring volume, a diverse and impressive group of thinkers reflect on those formative experiences that shaped their own political commitments. A fascinating new window into the revealing links between the personal and the political, Political Awakenings will engage readers across generations.
Conversations with History (Large Print 16pt)
Author: Harry Kreisler
Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a controversial history of the Vietnam War argues that American acts of violence against millions of Vietnamese civilians were a pervasive and systematic part of the war and that soldiers were deliberately trained and ordered to conduct hate-based slaughter campaigns.
The Real American War in Vietnam
Author: Nick Turse