Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War. – Review

Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War. – Review – book review

Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War. By William Hammond. (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1999.)

Prof. William Hammond’s study of the relationship between the U.S. military and the American news media in Vietnam is the winner of the OAH’s Richard W. Leopold Prize. Hammond argues that the military and the media began with mutual respect and cooperation but developed distrust and even hostility in the course of the war. Based on superb archival research, Hammond’s book demonstrates that the media followed the broader pattern in society as it shifted from support to disillusionment, and it helps to clarify how the way the U.S. government chose to fight the war ended up alienating reporters who had been sympathetic. The book succeeds in explaining how public opinion evolved towards an unprecedented distrust of the U.S. government. The award committee praised the book for being as comprehensive in scope as it was elegant in style; it will doubtless be a standard work on this subject for some time to come.

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