Vietnam. Just say the word, and you shake the great long clanking chain of guilt, anger and retribution forged in the 1960’s and 70’s. It changed so much, from military strategy to combat journalism, but more, it changed the way an entire generation of Americans related to society, how they understood world events and history. Some fought. Some did not; and the tortured dialogue that’s wound around the word Vietnam, has more to do even today with the identity of this nation rather than the small country along western side of the South China Sea.
John Laurence spent five years for CBS in the jungle, struggling to explain Vietnam to Americans. Thirty years later, he may have found a better way to make sense of it, for us, and for himself.
John Laurence, author of The Cat from Hue