This passionate, epic account of the Vietnam War centres on Lt Col John Paul Vann, whose story illuminates America's failures and disillusionment in Southeast Asia. Vann was a field adviser to the army when American involvement was just beginning. He quickly became appalled at the corruption of the South Vietnamese regime, their incompetence in fighting the Communists and their brutal alienation of their own people. Finding his superiors too blinded by political lies to understand that the war was being thrown away, he secretly briefed reporters on what was really happening. One of those reporters was Neil Sheehan. This definitive exposé on why America lost the war won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1989.
"If there is one book that captures the Vietnam War in the sheer Homeric scale of its passion and folly, this book is it... A dazzling montage: vividly written and deeply felt... The dramatic scenes of lonely men locked on combat...the clash of wills and egos...all these combine in a work that captures the Vietnam War like no other... An impressive achievement" New York Times Book Review "I have never read such a book and never expected to... It's not just about John Paul Vann. Not just about America and all of us. Not just Vietnam and all the Vietnamese. It is tragedy and comedy and I don't care how many pages it is. I'll never tire of reading it again and again" -- Harrison E. Salisbury "It will stand as the definitive account of the passions, loyalties (guided and not), inspirations, follies and tragedies of the Vietnam War" Sunday Times "Probably the book on the Vietnam War...sophisticated, humane. It contains some of the best military reporting ever written" -- Francis Fitzgerald