Cover image for Vietnam, now : a reporter returns
Vietnam, now : a reporter returns
Lamb, David, 1940-2016.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, [2002]

Physical Description:
viii, 274 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS556.39 .L35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS556.39 .L35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In this work, David Lamb aims to answer the question: what is Vietnam and who are the Vietnamese? Lamb is a journalist who covered the Vietnam War and returned 30 years later to cover the peace. For four years, he explored the new Vietnam, wandering from the Chinese border to the depths of the Mekong Delta. He encountered many of the personalities from America's distant, dark days: the legendary general, Vo Nguyen Giap; Hanoi Hannah, once the propaganda voice of North Vietnam; a trusted Vietnamese journalist for Time magazine who turned out to be a Viet Cong agent. But, more importantly, he describes the lives of uncelebrated Vietnamese - students, former soldiers, shopkeepers, Communist Party members and unabashed capitalists - who share their memories of the wartime past and their hopes for the peacetime future.

Author Notes

David Sherman Lamb was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 5, 1940. He began his journalism career at 14, when he wrote a weekly column for The Milwaukee Journal about the Braves leaving Boston for Milwaukee from the perspective of a teenager. He graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of Maine in 1962. He worked for The Okinawa Morning Star and United Press International before joining The Los Angeles Times. He left the paper in 2004 after 34 years.

His first book, The Africans, was published in 1983. His other books included The Arabs, Stolen Season: A Journey Through America and Baseball's Minor Leagues, Over the Hills: A Midlife Escape Across America by Bicycle, and Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns. He also worked on the PBS documentary Vietnam Passage: Journeys from War to Peace in 2002. He died from lymphoma and esophageal cancer on June 5, 2016 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Following his four-year stint in Hanoi, Los Angeles Times reporter Lamb writes about the condition of Vietnam under the victorious Communists. The country is destitute, a poverty that is not being dealt with by the leadership's timid policy of "renovation," whose tangible results seem to be half-built hotels and other empty schemes to promote tourism. As the experienced foreign correspondent writes, "I know of no other country where the gap between potential and performance is so great." His experience extends back to an earlier tour of Vietnam as a UPI reporter in 1969, which informs Lamb's narratives of revisiting old haunts, such as South Vietnam's abjectly neglected military cemetery. The minimal reconciliation between the losing South and the victorious North is Lamb's main theme, and parallels that between the Americans and the victors in 1975. His accounts of veterans who have returned to Vietnam, among them the U.S. ambassador, round out a tactile portrait of a country in which, as he plaintively observes of himself, an American is still regarded as an "interloper." --Gilbert Taylor