Jonathan Schell's classic reporting for The New Yorker on the war in Vietnam, together with a forceful, thought-provoking new essay offering a full-scale interpretation of the war and its legacy — of how and why the United States went to war in Vietnam and how and why it lost.
In The Village of Ben Suc, written "with a skill that many a veteran war reporter will envy" (The New York Times), Schell recounts the destruction by American forces of a village that was caught up in the largest American military operation of teh war. He flies into Ben Suc in the attack helicopters, follows the assault on the village, and describes the fortunes of the villagers after they have been removed to refugee camps.
In The Military Half, Schell describes the destruction of two entire provinces in South Vietnam by American bombing and ground operations. Flying in the forward air-control planes that guide the bombing, he gives first-hand accounts of the bombing runs, and of their results. He gives the sights, the sounds, and the feel of the Vietnam War. He shows, in microcosm, how it all worked. This edition of Schell's classic reporting offers a new generation a chance to see Vietnam as it actually was, and his new essay makes an important contribution to the continuing debate over a war that the country seems unable to leave behind.