Books: Verdict on My Lai


87 pages. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. $2.45.

Mary McCarthy brings a special sensibility to her journalism about the war in Viet Nam. Behind the smart bitchiness of The Group there is a complicated spirit in anguish over what she now calls "this miserable country." As an expatriate, she sees the U.S. in sharp focus, remarking on incongruities that a resident takes for granted. Thus she recognized—and skillfully skewered —American bungling in Viet Nam (1967), though her later Hanoi (1968), likewise based on firsthand reporting, suffered from a Lincoln Steffens I-have-seen-the-future-and-it-works...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!