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Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returnsby David Lamb
Synopses & Reviews
Vietnam is run by one of the world's last communist governments, but great changes are sweeping the country. It is moving, if with caution and fear, toward a free-market economy. It is slowly lifting many of the civil restrictions that burden its 80 million inhabitants. It is divorcing itself from the isolation that followed the end of the Vietnam War and in return is being rewarded with an influx of Western tourists, foreign investors, and international aid workers who often ask: "What is Vietnam and who are the Vietnamese?"
David Lamb answers that question. For four years he explored the "new" Vietnam, wandering from the Chinese border to the depths of the Mekong Delta. He encountered many of the personalities from America's distant, dark days — the legendary general, Vo Nguyen Giap; Hanoi Hannah, once the propaganda voice of North Vietnam; a trusted Vietnamese journalist for Time magazine who turned out to be a Viet Cong agent. But more importantly, he brings us into the lives of scores of uncelebrated Vietnamese — students, former soldiers, shopkeepers, Communist Party members and unabashed capitalists — who share their memories of the wartime past and their hopes for the peacetime future. What emerges is a moving portrait of a remarkable country and a resolute people. This is a personal journey that will change the way we think of Vietnam, and perhaps the war as well.
"Part memoir, part historical narrative, part travelogue, part journalism, Lamb's worthy effort is a personality-driven look at Vietnam today." Publishers Weekly
"Vietnam, Now certainly focuses on the present, but it skillfully intertwines stories of the past from all sides of the conflict with a vision of the future....The best part of the book is the way Lamb looks at the country's past and future at the same time....Vietnam, Now succeeds because Lamb makes his points by telling stories of people from all walks of life, in both Vietnam and the United States. (Grade: A-)" Steve Galpern, Rocky Mountain News
Book News Annotation:
Thirty years after he covered the Vietnam War as a young combat correspondent, Lamb returned to live in Vietnam for four years to document the country's recovery from war. Through intimate stories of personal encounters with students, former soldiers, shopkeepers, Communist Party members, and returning boat people, he gives insight into how Vietnam has managed to bury the residue of war and why the Vietnamese now welcome Americans. B&w photos are included. The author has written five previous books on diverse topics.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This is an extraordinary rich portrait of postwar Vietnam, a country just emerging from years of political and economic isolation, by a journalist who covered the war and returned 30 years later to cover the peace.
About the Author
David Lamb is the only newspaper correspondent from the Vietnam War to later live in peacetime Hanoi. A distinguished Los Angeles Times journalist, he is the author of five previous books. He has been a Nieman Fellow, an Alicia Patterson Fellow, a Pew Fellow, and a writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California's School of Journalism.
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