Water Way

In 1970, 20-year-old Edward A. Gargan of Boston went to jail for two years because he refused to fight in Vietnam: he felt America's war there was unjust. Thus began a lifelong attachment to a continent which, at that time, he had not even seen. Gargan would go on to spend 15 years traversing Asia as a New York Times correspondent, covering stories from India to China. He says he wrote his meandering travelogue The River's Tale: A Year on the Mekong (Knopf; 322 pages) for two reasons: to fill in some of the blanks from a career of writing in...

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