Books: Welcome to Sunny Vietnam

A reporter's fond but undeluded look at America's onetime enemy and now very eager friend

The biggest surprise facing Americans who visit Vietnam today may be the fact that people in the North who lost two or three or even seven children in the "American war," as they call it, will greet American tourists as long-lost friends. This gift for forgiveness and pragmatism is all the more impressive, David Lamb suggests in his humane and often moving account, Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns (Public-Affairs; 274 pages), when you recall that 1 in every 10 Vietnamese was wounded or killed in the war against America. If the U.S. had suffered a proportional number of casualties, it would...

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