Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns

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9781586480899: Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns

Thirty years after covering the Vietnam War as a combat correspondent, the author returns to Hanoi to explore modern Vietnam, examining the people, the land, the history, the culture, and the legacy of the war.

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Review:

For most Americans, writes veteran correspondent David Lamb, "Vietnam was a war, not a country"--even worse, it was sometimes merely "an adjective, usually with a negative connotation." The author was practically a cub reporter when he covered the war a generation ago; in Vietnam, Now, he returns to it, bringing with him a sharp analytic eye developed over the ensuing years. His key observations include the unexpected fact that "the Vietnamese liked Americans.... They had put the war behind them in a way that many Americans hadn't." This is not to say that things have gone swimmingly for the Vietnamese, especially in an economic sense: "Vietnam was like a racehorse whose jockey kept yanking on the reins rather than giving the animal its head to find full stride." And lingering still is the divide between North and South: "The officially articulated policy was always that all Vietnamese were equal; it's just that it didn't turn out that way. Ironically, the communist leadership [in Hanoi] found it easier to reach out to its former enemy in Washington than to its own brethren in the South." Vietnam, Now is an ideal book for anybody interested in Southeast Asia, perhaps especially veterans who wonder whatever happened to that place where they fought so hard for so long. --John Miller

About the Author:

David Lamb is the only newspaper correspondent from the Vietnam War to later live in peacetime Hanoi. A distinguished Los Angeles Times journalist, he is the author of five previous books. He has been a Nieman Fellow, an Alicia Patterson Fellow, a Pew Fellow and a writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California's School of Journalism.

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