Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1969 (Library of America)

Overview

Vietnam was more than just the first television war; it was also the first war in which uncensored journalists reported widely and freely from the battlefield. The result was a powerful body of graphic and critical news reports that helped shaped public opinion back in the U.S.
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Overview

Vietnam was more than just the first television war; it was also the first war in which uncensored journalists reported widely and freely from the battlefield. The result was a powerful body of graphic and critical news reports that helped shaped public opinion back in the U.S.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Commentary
. . .American innocence . . .is a perhaps ineradicable trait of our national character, one that . . . affects the cynical no less than it does the truly innocent. . . .The truth about our wars. . .that they sometimes involve defending nasty regimes from being cushed by regimes far worse — may be more than a people that prides itself on its peaceableness and decency can bear.
John F. Stacks
To read Reporting Vietnam from the beginning to the war's end is to relive the war in all its agony, heroism and, finally, failure. . . . It is the combat reporting that is most moving, both for the horror seen and the risks taken. -- Time Magazine
Tom Engelhardt
Reading Reporting Vietnam is an addictive experience. . . .No body of journalism since has made such use of the vivid image. . . .There are also discoveries or rediscoveries to be made. . . .For all its bulk, this collection represents a kind of tunnel vision: the war as never-ending story, more and more of the same.
Nation
Library Journal
One 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"
Commentary
. . .American innocence . . .is a perhaps ineradicable trait of our national character, one that . . . affects the cynical no less than it does the truly innocent. . . .The truth about our wars. . .that they sometimes involve defending nasty regimes from being cushed by regimes far worse -- may be more than a people that prides itself on its peaceableness and decency can bear.
Tom Engelhardt
Reading Reporting Vietnam is an addictive experience. . . .No body of journalism since has made such use of the vivid image. . . .There are also discoveries or rediscoveries to be made. . . .For all its bulk, this collection represents a kind of tunnel vision: the war as never-ending story, more and more of the same. -- The Nation
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883011581
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Library of America Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 858
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.17 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2004

    Good, One-Sided History

    This collection of contemporaneous news accounts helps people like me raised after the Vietnam War gain a better understanding of the period. Most of the journalists are either liberals who hated the war or liberals who initially supported it but quickly turned against it. This does not discount the quality of what they saw and reported. However, many important points are simply omitted. Also, by stopping at 1975, the oppression which followed in Vietnam and the killing fields of communist Cambodia are inevitably ignored. It is hard to understand why the war was fought until you fully appreciate what happened after the Americans left.

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