Neil Sheehan is a notable journalist and author of the Vietnam War era who helped obtain and write about the infamous Pentagon Papers while working for The New York Times in the early 1970s. In his book After the War Was Over, Sheehan goes back to visit a unified Vietnam in the late 1980s. This trip to Vietnam is his first visit back to the country since reporting and living in Vietnam during the U.S. led war back in the 1960s and 1970s.
Sheehan’s writing is a great late 1980s and early 1990s update on what happened in Vietnam after the U.S. war on the country. The book is still relevant today in that Sheehan includes a great overview of some historical events in Vietnam that help readers understand the country better. Sheehan also includes interesting reporting and analysis on how Vietnam’s economy had started transitioning from socialism to a free market and capitalist based economy around the time of his visit.
The book also gives updates on some of the people and events from the Vietnam War. The author has updates on the bombing of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi and an interesting summary of former South Vietnamese General Ly Tong Ba being captured after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and eventually immigrating to Las Vegas, Nevada. After the War Was Over is a recommended read for those who want to know more about Vietnam and want an update of sorts on what happened to the country.
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