SOUTH VIET NAM: Recessionary Reel

To a casual stroller in Danang, South Viet Nam's second largest city has rarely looked more prosperous. Every store window is full. The shops are freshly painted, and for the first time in years an effort is being made to clean up the streets. In the central market there are baskets of bananas, lettuce flown in from Dalat, fresh oranges from Cambodia. A new air-conditioned hotel has just opened, and despite the withdrawal of American G.I.s, Danang's restaurants still offer Johnny Walker Scotch and Courvoisier Cognac.

The appearances are deceptive. Hardly anyone can afford to drink scotch or cognac any...

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