Sixteen years in the making, A Bright Shining Lie is an eloquent and disturbing portrait of a man who in many ways personified the US war effort in Vietnam, of a solider cast in the heroic mould, an American Lawrence of Arabia. Blunt, idealistic, patronising to the Vietnamese, Vann was haunted by a shameful secret - the fact that he was the illegitimate son of a 'white trash' prostitute. Gambling away his career, Vann left the army that he loved and returned to Vietnam as a civilian in the pacification programme. He rose to become the first American civilian to wield a general's command in war. When he was killed in 1972, he was mourned at Arlington cemetery by leading political figures of the day.
Sheehan recounts his astonishing story in this intimate and intense meditation on a conflict that scarred the conscience of a nation. less
Reviews and Recommendations
We've comprehensively compiled reviews of A Bright, Shining Lie from the world's leading experts.
James Meek It’s about the Vietnam war and it’s a masterpiece, a stone cold masterpiece. An amazing book. There’s this comparison between Vietnam and Afghanistan that’s been made so much, but it’s apposite. For a start, I think there’s a lot to be said concerning parallels between modern western perceptions of Islam and past perceptions of Communism. (Source)