Thomas A. Bass

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Five years ago I began an experiment — not of my own devising — to study censorship in Vietnam. In 2009, I signed a contract to publish one of my books in Hanoi. Called “The Spy Who Loved Us,” the book tells the story of Pham Xuan An, Vietnam’s most celebrated journalist during the Vietnam War. (He ended his career as bureau chief for Time magazine in Saigon.) Only after the war did we learn that An had received a dozen military medals as a communist spy and served as North Vietnam’s deadliest secret weapon.

One might think that a book about a “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces” would be published in Vietnam without difficulty, but nothing is published in Vietnam without being censored.…  Seguir leyendo »

Now that the general has died, perhaps the man can come to life. Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap died Oct. 4 at the age of 102. His obituaries, many written years ago, report official versions of a life that only recently has been explored by historians and still has yet to be examined in detail.

Giap’s obituaries give the man both too much and too little credit. He was indeed the architect of Vietnam’s remarkable 1954 victory at Dien Bien Phu, which ended the first Indochinese war, against the French. This was the first time in the history of Western colonialism that Asian troops defeated a European army in fixed battle.…  Seguir leyendo »