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About the book
  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407063904
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 896

A Bright Shining Lie

John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam




'Superb. If you ever read just one history of the Vietnam war, read and admire and celebrate this one. ' John le Carre

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.

  • Pub date: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407063904
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 896

About the Author

Neil Sheehan

Neil Sheehan was a Vietnam War correspondent for United Press International and the New York Times and won a number of awards for his reporting. In 1971 he obtained the Pentagon Papers, which brought the Times the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for meritorious public service. A Bright Shining Lie won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction.

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Praise for A Bright Shining Lie

“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


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