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VIETNAM: A Reporters War by Hugh Lunn

VIETNAM: A Reporters War


Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Stein & Day

Lunn is an Australian who covered Vietnam for Reuters in 1967-68. He describes his experiences and his friendship with a Vietnamese man who worked with him. The book is rife with so many errors of fact, misperceptions, poor reporting and sloppy writing that it is difficult to take seriously. It is hard to understand how such unbelievably poor reporting could find its way into print--or how it could have been committed in the first place. One glaring example: when Lunn arrived in early 1967, "". . .Saigon generally looked like a happy little Asian city. Only the green military vehicles, and the tremors from B-52 bomb attacks at night, indicated that anything was wrong in this tropical capital. ""In fact, there were sandbags and armed guards at many building entrances. There were heavy wire anti-grenade screens on the windows of billets and civilian restaurants. There were high mounds of rotting garbage in some areas. The city was swollen to three or four times its pre-war size by the hundreds of thousands of refugees who had fled the fighting in the countryside. Many lived in indescribably filthy slums jammed together on the outskirts. Other thousands lived on the sidewalks, even in the city's center--close to the Reuters office--in cardboard shelters or under bits of tin propped against a building. The book, consistent with its flawed description of Saigon, adds nothing to the literature on Vietnam.