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An eBook short.In the opening years of the Vietnam War, a small group of American military advisors and their South Vietnamese allies were facing down the Viet Cong. The confident Americans were there to do what seemed elementary: help the South Vietnamese army defeat a ragtag guerrilla enemy. They were assured of swift success. But one officer, John Paul Vann, saw darker omens for the future--and in the Battle of Ap Bac, the Viet Cong proved him correct.Encapsulating the great terrors, mistakes, ironies, and courageous acts of the Vietnam War, "The Battle of Ap Bac" recounts the clash in which the Viet Cong first won their spurs. It is an exciting, terrifying, fast-paced portrait of close-contact warfare in the rice paddies, the story of John Vann's attempt to singlehandedly change the terms of battle and avoid the relentless killing grounds of Vietnam that lay ahead. A key selection from Neil Sheehan's masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie--which remains the preeminent history of the Vietnam War--it offers a prescient warning for current conflicts between powerful forces and underestimated foes.
Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won.<P><P> A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam-a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war.<P> Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.<P> Winner of the National Book Award
From Sheehan, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic "A Bright Shining Lie," comes the never-before-told story of the nuclear arms race that changes history--and of the visionary American Air Force officer Bernard Schriever, who leads the high-stakes effort.