A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

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A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

Author: Neil Sheehan
Publisher: Vintage Books
Copyright: 1989
Pages: 896
Cover Price: $ 19.95

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John Paul Vann served in the U.S. Army from the end of World War II through the early years of the Vietnam War. He was a military advisor to the South Vietnamese government and grew very concerned with the incompetence with which ARVN conducted the war. After leaving the army for two years from 1963 to 1965, he returned to Vietnam as a civilian advisor in a variety of capacities.

Van died in a helicopter crash in 1972 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Distinguished Service Cross, the only recipient of that for the Vietnam War.

Sheehan's tragic biography of John Paul Vann is also a sweeping history of America's seduction, entrapment and disillusionment in Vietnam.

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Background Information

Arlington National Cemetery was established in Virginia across the Potomac from Washington DC as the nation's preeminent military cemetery. The United States slid slowly into the position previously held by France in Indochina and became engulfed in a long war in Vietnam.