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

Front Cover
Random House, 1988 - Biography & Autobiography - 861 pages
210 Reviews
When he came to Vietnam in 1962, Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann was the one clear-sighted participant in an enterprise riddled with arrogance and self-deception, a charismatic soldier who put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. By the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He died believing that the war had been won.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

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

User Review  - Jon Shank - Goodreads

As an American, I know much more about, say, the Revolutionary War or the Civil War than I do the Korean War or the Vietnam War. There's a lot wrong with this, especially considering that much of what ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Howard Hoover - Goodreads

Started this in 1990 in college and stopped reading it in 1990 because I was in college. Picked it back up a few months ago and all I recalled from reading it the first time were helicopters being ... Read full review


The Funeral
Going to War
Antecedents to a Confrontation

11 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1988)

American journalist Cornelius Mahoney "Neil" Sheehan was born on October 27, 1936 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. In 1958 he received a B.A. from Harvard University. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1962, Sheehan began working for the United Press International. Following a stint in the Tokyo bureau he worked as a bureau chief covering the Vietnam War for two years. Sheehan joined The New York Times in 1964 and reported from Indonesia and again Vietnam before becoming the Pentagon correspondent in 1966. He began reporting on the White House in 1968. In 1971 Sheehan published in The New York Times controversial details from the classified Pentagon Papers regarding the war in Vietnam. The government lost the resulting case, New York Times Co. v. United States, in which it had tried to halt these actions. Sheehan has written several bestselling books. He won a non-fiction Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for A Bright Shining Lie, considered to be one of the best books ever written about the Vietnam War. He has also published The Arnheiter Affair, After the War Was Over, and A Fiery Peace in a Cold War.

Bibliographic information