Library JournalOne of the few achievements of the long Vietnam conflict seems to have been its reporting, as distinct in its own way as the World War II stories of Ernie Pyle and A.J. Liebling. The Vietnam correspondents overcame the official "credibility gap" with a journalistic style that could be cool and defiantly factual, or personal, or sometimes exuberantly paranoid, echoing the soldiers themselves. The style develops as you read these two marvelous volumes: the early news accounts of advisers give way by mid-decade to a mission confusion and a growing respect for the underestimated Vietcong ("We used to call the enemy Victor Charlie. But now we call him Charles. Mr. Charles."). After the 1968 Tet Offensive, a more personal, sardonic voice emerges to match the bitter experience. In all, 80 writers survey the complex scene from all angles--from Don Moser's terrific anatomy of a 1968 guerrilla bombing to first-person accounts by POWs like John McCain, while Norman Mailer watches the street battles waged back home. Not everything here is literature, but the average is high. The collection concludes with Michael Herr's masterly, jungle-weary memoir, "Dispatches." Highly recommended for history, journalism, and literature collections.--Nathan Ward, "Library Journal"
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John Le CarréThis splendid collection testifies to the courage, endurance, and swallowed anger of an extraordinary brave group of writers who, by sharing the agony, earned the right to report it.
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