Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975 (Library of America)

Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975 (Library of America)

by Milton J. Bates
     
 

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A unique collection captures a dramatic and controversial war and the brilliant generation of American journalists who reported it.

This one-volume selection, drawn from the original newspaper and magazine reports and contemporary books collected in the acclaimed two-volume hardcover edition, brings together the work of over fifty remarkable writers to create a

Overview

A unique collection captures a dramatic and controversial war and the brilliant generation of American journalists who reported it.

This one-volume selection, drawn from the original newspaper and magazine reports and contemporary books collected in the acclaimed two-volume hardcover edition, brings together the work of over fifty remarkable writers to create a powerful mosaic view of America's longest war. Reporting Vietnam follows events from the first American fatalities in 1959 through the Tet Offensive in 1968 to the fall of Saigon in 1975, recording the shifting course of the fighting, its impact on an increasingly fractured America, and the changing texture of American journalism.

Here are Homer Bigart, David Halberstam, Stanley Karnow, and Neil Sheehan on South Vietnam in the 1960s; Thomas Johnson and Wallace Terry examining the changing attitudes of black soldiers; Sydney Schanberg on the fall of Phnom Penh; Philip Caputo on the last days of South Vietnam. Included as well are Norman Mailer at the March on the Pentagon, Doris Kearns on Lyndon Johnson's anguished decision-making, and James Michener's meticulous reconstruction of the Kent State shooting.

The volume includes a detailed chronology of the war, historical maps, biographical profiles of the journalists, notes, a glossary of military terms, and an index.

"Not simply a riveting collection of first-rate writing about the war, Reporting Vietnam is also an epic retelling of an American tragedy." --The Oregonian

"This splendid collection testifies to the courage, endurance and swallowed anger of an extraordinarily brave group of writers who, by sharing the agony, earned their rights to report it." --John Le Carre

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
If there's one clear lesson the U.S. military learned from Vietnam, it was "Never again." Never again let the media run around the theater of war reporting whatever they wanted from wherever they wanted. It was a lesson the Pentagon acted on in the Gulf War, severely limiting media access. It was also a lesson hard learned.

As was happening on college campuses, concert stages, and at political rallies across the country, journalism underwent a revolution in the '60s and early '70s. Though led by patrician families that were firmly entrenched in the political and cultural elite of the nation, newspapers and magazines were being written by young reporters who came of age with Elvis, the Beatles, and the Civil Rights Movement. All previous generations of journalists had accepted that an American war was a good war. The Vietnam press corps held no such belief.

Reporting Vietnam collects the best writing and reportage from the war into two volumes of gripping, painful reading. Part one covers the war from 1959 to 1969 — from the first American deaths to the bloody battle of Hamburger Hill. Along the way, reporters fan out to uncover the military blunders, the political minefields, and the cultural changes spreading from America to Vietnam: from the Tet Offensive to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, from a violent Christmas in Saigon to Black power in the U.S. forces.

The two volumes compile the works of the best and boldest writers who covered the war: David Halberstam, Russell Baker, Stanley Karnow, Peter Arnett, Walter Cronkite, Wallace Terry,SydneySchanberg, Neil Sheehan, Gloria Emerson, Philip Caputo, and Michael Herr, to name just some of the over 80 writers whose work appears in the collection.

Part two, covering 1969 through 1975, begins with My Lai and ends with the fall of Saigon and the evacuation of the U.S. embassy. This was the war at its most chaotic, its most lawless, its most tragic. Concluding this volume, and summarizing the complete experience of reporting on Vietnam, is Michael Herr's Dispatches, a stunning book-length memoir of his experience of the war.

Reporting Vietnam is a valuable collection of primary source narratives from reporters in the field. As a collection, it is also a comprehensive document of the pain America went through in Vietnam.

— Greg Sewell

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
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
Thomas Powers
The sad truth that confronts the serious reader at the end of 1,500 pages...we lost....Mostly...the war in Reporting Vietnam...[is] the war that kids had been drafted to fight for 12-month tours of duty...and the war that newspaper correspondents visited in the field....What [Reporting Vietnam delivers] is a sense of what the war was like, and why so many people feel about it the way they do. -- The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883011901
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Series:
Library of America Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
830
Sales rank:
900,637
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.75(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

John Le Carre
This splendid collection testifies to the courage, endurance, and swallowed anger of an extraordinarily brave group of writers who, by sharing the agony, earned their right to report it.
Roger Rosenblatt
First-rate. . .as vivid a picture of the rich, tormented country as any novel has given us.

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