This is Bissell's third book
following Chasing The Sea
, a travelogue
through Central Asia recording his disastrous time
with the Peace Corp; and a collection of short
God Lives in St Petersburg.
Having read his earlier books, one might conclude
that Bissell has been building himself up to tackle
this very big, very personal topic, but actually it
seems that the topic caught up with him, triggered
by an assignment for GQ magazine that took him and
his father to Vietnam to relive his father's wartime
experiences - an article now much expanded into book
Speaking of the post-war generation, of which he is
a part, Bissell writes,
"[t]his strange, lost war, simultaneously real and...
Beyond the Book
A Short History of Vietnam
Vietnam's history has been
one of repeated invasions and
maps). For the millennium up
to the early 10th century,
Vietnam was controlled by the
Chinese, until a final rebellion
in 938 led to Vietnam achieving
independence. Over the following
centuries it repelled a number
of Chinese invasion attempts,
including three during the Yuan
(Mongol) dynasty (1271-1368)
while also expanding its own
borders substantially south (map).
In the 19th century, the French...