Why this book?
I loved this book because Fitzgerald is a journalist, not a historian, so her writing is vivid, fluent, and readable. This is so much more than a history of the war. She plunges into the complex story of Vietnam’s history and culture, setting the stage for America’s unfortunate involvement and the subsequent tragic events.
Fitzgerald first went to Vietnam in 1966, and, when this book came out in 1972, it was the first history of Vietnam written by an American. The New York Times called it “A compassionate and penetrating account of the collision of two societies that remain untranslatable to one another.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Book Award, it was a bestseller.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Frances FitzGerald's landmark history of Vietnam and the Vietnam War, "a compassionate and penetrating account of the collision of two societies that remain untranslatable to one another." (New York Times Book Review)
This magisterial work, based on Frances FitzGerald's many years of research and travels, takes us inside the history of Vietnam -- the traditional, ancestor-worshiping villages, the conflicts between Communists and anti-Communists, Catholics and Buddhists, generals and monks, the disruption created by French colonialism, and America's ill-fated intervention -- and reveals the country as seen through Vietnamese eyes.
Originally published in 1972, Fire in the Lake was the first…