Molly's Reviews > A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan
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it was amazing

A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan is a superior book that took 5 months, and every ounce of my concentration, to finish. I recommend it to anyone interested in American military history, specifically the Vietnam war, but warn you that you are in for a long, difficult read. Sheehan's research and writing style are without fault, I think. After all, he was there. The lynchpin of the book is John Paul Vann, a fascintating, complex man, who may have allowed the U.S. to win the war in Vietnam, had the U.S. listened to him at the time. The book is painful to read, not only because one knows how everything will end, both for the war, and for Vann himself, but also because one finds oneself immersed in a person for whom one feels empathy, yet simultaneously finds morally repugnant.

The book is also difficult to navigate (for me, anyway) because of the extremely large number of names and personages, many of them in a language altogether foreign to me, that one is required to remember. An index would have been good. However, I feel a great sense of accomplishment having finished the book, and am eager to learn more about the circumstances of the war.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 29, 2012 – Shelved

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