By Neil Sheehan
Selected via the fashionable Library as one of many a hundred most sensible nonfiction books of all time
In this magisterial publication, a monument of heritage and biography that used to be provided the nationwide publication Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, popular journalist Neil Sheehan tells the tale of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that state and the lives of such a lot of Americans.
Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, choked with self belief in America's may perhaps and correct to be triumphant. A vibrant Shining Lie unearths the reality concerning the struggle in Vietnam because it opened up sooner than Vann's eyes: the boldness corruption of the U.S. army procedure of the Sixties, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese military, the nightmare of dying and destruction that all started with the arriving of the yankee forces. Witnessing the confidence and self-deception firsthand, Vann placed his existence and profession at the line in an try and persuade his superiors that the battle might be fought in a different way. yet by the point he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he as soon as decried. He went to his grave believing that the conflict were won.
A haunting and seriously acclaimed masterpiece, A vivid Shining Lie is a undying account of the yankee adventure in Vietnam–a paintings that's epic in scope, piercing intimately, and informed with the prepared realizing of a journalist who used to be really there.Neil Sheehan' s vintage serves as a gorgeous revelation for all who proposal they understood the war.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra resources for A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
Should, for example, propositions of metaphysics or moral principle be judged more or less epistemically weighty or truth bearing than, for example, semifactual historical anecdotes? Can we classify these separately at all? The question comes down to the problem of what I will term “epistemic quality,” of determining the demonstrative qualities distinguishing a proposition that could bear upon how it may be received as evidence and how important an evidentiary function it plays. Ruth Morse, in her Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages, posits that there is a signiﬁcant gulf between how Western culture pre- and postempiricism sought to deﬁ ne truth.
I do not deny that zhi involves elements that share sympathies with those of the mind and the will. But I would like to suggest that there may be a nuance of an individualized commitment to an inner vision believed to reﬂect something true about the world that is lacking in some of these translations, a commitment that involves both intellectual and conative components but also expresses a conviction about how things should be or actually are in relation to what actions one should take or direction one should follow.
Complicating these matters even further is that, realistically, these doubts, like persuasive speech, do not spring from an unfettered discursive space but from the frequently constrictive, or just directive, atmospheres of culture, society, and language. Doubts are limited not only by the language that expresses them but also by the social dynamics that permits or forbids their communication. A doubt expressed among a group of sympathetic friends is clearly not the same doubt as that expressed to a suspicious or hostile audience, regardless of its import.