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A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam-一个明亮的撒谎:约翰·保罗和美国在越南



作者:Neil Sheehan, George Packer

书名:A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam《一个明亮的撒谎:约翰·保罗和美国在越南》

简介:In A Bright Shining Lie, Neil Sheehan peels back the mythology of the Vietnam War to expose its full horror, tragedy and waste. He centers his account on one man: US Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann, who tried to persuade Pentagon and public alike that the conflict was being murderously bungled by American forces and their South Vietnamese allies. Sixteen years in the writing, A Bright Shining Lie gives an unflinching account of how the war was waged: from events that have gone down in infamy, such as the Battle of Ap Bac and the Tet Offensive, to the countless, nameless atrocities against Vietnamese villagers throughout the longest war in American history. Sheehan, who died in 2021, collaborated with the Folio Society to create this two-volume edition, putting forward the award-winning war journalist George Packer to write a new introduction. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Robert F Kennedy Book Award, this is among the few essential works on a conflict that divided America and continues to haunt its conscience.

The book opens on John Vann’s funeral, attended by America’s leading political, military and media figures, where Neil Sheehan first had the idea of building a history of Vietnam around this figure who ‘embodied the war’s drama, its noble intentions, its illusions, folly, and waste’. He delves into Vann’s squalid upbringing as the illegitimate son of a prostitute, and uncovers the shocking reason why he left the Army he loved, only to return to Vietnam as the first American civilian to hold a general’s command. Above all, he relates how Vann’s unyielding belief in US military superiority increasingly warped his judgment – right up to his sudden death in a helicopter crash, still ‘believing he had won his war’.