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Seeing both sides in Ken Burns’ ‘The Vietnam War’

The Vietnam War begins like so many Ken Burns films before it: by listing, in the inimitable voice of Burns’ go-to narrator Peter Coyote, a series of dichotomies that the ten-part, eighteen-hour behemoth will inevitably toggle between, and struggle with, for the

The train to Quảng Ngãi

It was in the canteen car of the late-night service that the Vietnam veteran finally told me his story. We’d been friends for months, regulars at a Louisiana-themed bar off Saigon’s Bùi Viện backpacker strip, but his time in-country was,

Sandor Jaszberenyi’s ‘The Devil is a Black Dog’ fires on reporters

At what point should a journalist transmute first-hand experience into fiction? Where does one draw the line between what can be reported as fact and what should probably be reported some other way, even if one has seen it with

The Vietnam War’s ‘time bomb’ legacy for Laos

The confrontation is immediate—ia hundred cluster bombs suspended from the ceiling on fishing wire. This deadly mobile of “bombies”, as the locals call them, symbolises the lethal legacy of Laos’s Vietnam War experience. It is the display that greets visitors

Vietnam War correspondents reunite to honour the fall of Saigon

Correspondents who covered the fall of Saigon gathered on a rooftop bar in Ho Chi Minh City last Wednesday to honour the fortieth anniversary of the end of a war that made many of their names. Numbers were down to

Forty years on, what can a war book teach us?

In January, Picador reissued Michael Herr’s classic book on the Vietnam War, Dispatches, and with today marking the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon now seems the perfect time to revisit the book’s pyrotechnic prose and harrowing, still-relevant lessons.

Forty years after the fall of Saigon, a visit to Ho Chi Minh City’s war museum

Has it really been forty years since there wasn’t enough room on the last chopper out? The streets of Ho Chi Minh City are, if not exactly festooned, then at least rather heavily decorated with banners and other displays attesting

Kobane: How we failed the Kurds

The men at the Can Diyarbakir ticket desk in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, eyed the lapel of my filthy white shirt with a mix of admiration and concern. “We appreciate it very much,” said one, indicating the Kurdish