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The Only War We've Got

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Length: 240 pages4 hours

Summary

It's the summer of 1964. The bush hat, and not the steel helmet, is the favored headgear of the sixteen thousand American advisors in South Vietnam. They love their work, and they're very good at it. How can they possibly fail? Covering their war are a handful of foreign reporters, including novelist Daniel Ford. Armed with a camera and a notebook, he wanders the country on foot and by military transport--helicopter, jeep, landing craft, junk, armored personnel carrier, and an Air Force flare ship--from the Mekong Delta to the Central Highlands. Once or twice a week, or whenever he is reunited with his Hermes portable, he types up an account of what he has seen and done. Here is that journal, a generation after it was written. It is a freeze-frame picture of the Vietnam War before it became a quagmire. "How good-hearted we were!" Ford says of himself and the men he met in his travels. "And how badly it all turned out." Included is the trek to an abandoned French garrison that became the site of Ford's novel Incident at Muc Wa and the acclaimed Burt Lancaster film Go Tell the Spartans. Updated with photographs, 2017.

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