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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



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    Richard Bausch 9780307266262

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Quiet American, the (Movie Tie-In)

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Quiet American, the (Movie Tie-In) Cover

 

Staff Pick

One of the first things I learned living abroad is that much of the world places far less value on the idea of "innocence" than Americans do. The cult of innocence is an American ideal. One of the finest, most insightful portrayals of an American innocent abroad is embodied in Arden Pyle, a naïve young CIA operative sent to Vietnam in the fifties. Behind the scenes, Pyle engages in secret machinations to try to establish a puppet regime favorable to US policy. Pyle is a zealous, earnest ideologue and truly naïve, unable to see all the misery caused by his seemingly innocent actions. Ultimately, his ambition undoes him, with the help of a cynical English expatriate named Fowler (good name). Maybe there was a time when the world worked that way.
Recommended by Fidel, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

While the French Army in Indo-China is grappling with the Vietminh, back in Saigon a young and high-minded American named Pyle begins to channel economic aid to a "Third Force."

Caught between French colonialists and the Vietminh, Fowler, the narrator and seasoned foreign correspondent, observes: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused." As young Pyle's policies blunder on into bloodshed, the older man finds it impossible to stand aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and to himself: for Pyle has robbed him of his Vietnamese mistress.

Review:

"Greene's work embodies the demystification of the modern system — a complex and intricate exercise since the novels confront the reality of death in order to express faith in life." Maria Couto in The Time Higher Education Supplement

Review:

"The Quiet American by Graham Greene ought to be required reading for anyone planning a visit to Vietnam. For more than forty years, this prophetic portrait of the failing days of French colonial rule has been alternately praised and reviled by critics, but still stands as the definitive, though fictionalized account of the terrible confrontation between moral dissipation and dangerous naiveté that plagued this tropical nation for so many decades." Tom Curry, Literary Traveler

About the Author

Graham Greene was born in England in 1904 and died in 1991 in Switzerland. He studied at the Berkhamsted School, where his father was headmaster, before entering Balliol College, Oxford. In 1926 Greene became a journalist for the Nottingham Journal and converted to Catholicism to be closer to his future wife, Vivien Dayrell-Browning. His first novel, The Man Within, was published three years later. The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana, and Orient Express are among his numerous provocative, exotically suspenseful, and often hilarious explorations of the corruption of the human spirit. Many of his novels have been adapted successfully to the screen.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780142001387
Author:
Greene, Graham
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
War
Subject:
Vietnam
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Political fiction
Subject:
War correspondents
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
Indochinese war, 1946-1954
Subject:
Indochina
Subject:
Triangles
Subject:
Indochinese War, 194
Subject:
War & Military
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
71-0077
Publication Date:
20021131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.80x5.04x.50 in. .34 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Novelization
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Historical

Quiet American, the (Movie Tie-In) Used Trade Paper
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$6.50 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142001387 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One of the first things I learned living abroad is that much of the world places far less value on the idea of "innocence" than Americans do. The cult of innocence is an American ideal. One of the finest, most insightful portrayals of an American innocent abroad is embodied in Arden Pyle, a naïve young CIA operative sent to Vietnam in the fifties. Behind the scenes, Pyle engages in secret machinations to try to establish a puppet regime favorable to US policy. Pyle is a zealous, earnest ideologue and truly naïve, unable to see all the misery caused by his seemingly innocent actions. Ultimately, his ambition undoes him, with the help of a cynical English expatriate named Fowler (good name). Maybe there was a time when the world worked that way.

"Review" by , "Greene's work embodies the demystification of the modern system — a complex and intricate exercise since the novels confront the reality of death in order to express faith in life."
"Review" by , "The Quiet American by Graham Greene ought to be required reading for anyone planning a visit to Vietnam. For more than forty years, this prophetic portrait of the failing days of French colonial rule has been alternately praised and reviled by critics, but still stands as the definitive, though fictionalized account of the terrible confrontation between moral dissipation and dangerous naiveté that plagued this tropical nation for so many decades."
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