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Paper Soldiers 9780393030617

Paper Soldiers

The American Press and the Vietnam War

ISBN-10: 039303061X
ISBN-13: 9780393030617
PUBLISHER: Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W.
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: "Ever since the end of the Vietnam War twenty years ago, many have held as an article of faith the idea that America's long and tragic war effort in Vietnam fell victim to a hostile press - a group of reporters and broadcasters ideologically opposed to U.S. involvement and determined to show its worst side in print and on television." "This brilliantly researched and beautifully written book shatters that idea. By looking at twenty years' worth of newspaper, magazine, and television coverage of the war, and examining previously unused government and military documents, the author has reached a contrarian conclusion - that from nearly the war's beginning to its end, the U.S. government successfully manipulated the press to its own ends." "From the government's side, the motivation was clear. As the Cold War heated up after World War II and the Iron Curtain descended across Europe, a curtain of secrecy descended on the United States. The threat from the Soviet Union justified, in the minds of American leaders, lying to the public and press on a shocking, unprecedented scale. This practice reached full flower in Vietnam, suppressing the bad news and emphasizing, even inventing, the good." "The press realized it was being had, and though it protested occasionally, it was powerless to do much about this new secrecy. The press was not motivated by ideology, but instead by the professional demands of journalism. More than anything else, reporters needed a story, and in national security matters especially, that meant depending on government and military sources. By the time of Vietnam, U.S. officials had figured this out, and used the press's own characteristics to control it." "The tension inherent in this policy is at the center of this story. It is a story with a big cast of characters - reporters such as Peter Arnett, Morley Safer, David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, and Joseph Alsop; government and military leaders like William Westmoreland, Dean Rusk, and Robert McNamara; and the "Vietnam" presidents - Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon - who never wavered in their determination to twist the Vietnam story to their own advantage, even if it meant deceiving the public." "Paper Soldiers, like no other book, takes us onto the battlefield and into the heart of Saigon to show what it was like to cover one of the toughest, most exciting stories of the century. More important, it lays bare through the example of Vietnam how our leaders have often betrayed public trust, how a "national security" logic gone wild has undermined the two bulwarks of our democracy: the freedom to know and the freedom to speak."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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CATEGORY: History, Language Arts & Disciplines

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