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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:01 AM

Stanley Karnow dies at 87; author of epic Vietnam history

Source: Los Angeles Times

Times Staff and Wire Reports

January 27, 2013, 7:43 p.m.

Stanley Karnow, an award-winning author and journalist who combined insightful reporting with personal accounts and historical sweep in books on the Vietnam War and the Philippines and the critically acclaimed public television series that accompanied the works, died Sunday at his home in Potomac, Md. He was 87.

Karnow had congestive heart failure and died in his sleep, said son Michael Karnow.

A former correspondent for Time, the Washington Post and other publications, Karnow was one of the first U.S. journalists to report from Vietnam in the late 1950s, when American involvement in South Vietnam was still confined to a small group of advisors. He reported on the first two U.S. deaths in Vietnam, not suspecting that tens of thousands would follow.

His coverage of the war spawned an epic PBS documentary series and his bestseller "Vietnam: A History," published in 1983. Even-handed and thorough, it remains a definitive work on the unpopular war.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-stanley-karnow-20130128,0,6303040.story

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Reply Stanley Karnow dies at 87; author of epic Vietnam history (Original post)
ellisonz Jan 2013 OP
Ian Iam Jan 2013 #1
Kolesar Jan 2013 #2
mainer Jan 2013 #3
ellisonz Jan 2013 #4

Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:07 AM

1. I recently watched the television series online

 

Most excellent.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:56 AM

2. PBS agreed to let the right-wing Accuracy in Media air a rebuttal

The series was: "Vietnam, the Ten Thousand Day War", IIRC. It was an excellent documentary. The serieses you see on Discovery and History Channel are weak pablum in comparison.
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The publication of "Vietnam: A History" coincided with a 13-part PBS documentary series, aired in 1983 when the book was released. Decades later, the book has remained essential, read and taught alongside such classics as David Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest" and Michael Herr's "Dispatches."

"Because he has a sharp eye for the illustrative moment and a keen ear for the telling quote, his book is first-rate as a popular contribution to understanding the war," Douglas Pike, a former U.S. government official in Vietnam who became a leading authority on the war, wrote for the New York Times in a 1983 review.

The PBS series won six Emmys, a Peabody and a Polk and was the highest-rated documentary at the time for public television, with an average of 9.7 million viewers per episode. Along with much praise came criticism from the left and right. Conservatives were so angered by the documentary that PBS agreed to let the right-wing Accuracy in Media air a rebuttal, "Television's Vietnam: The Real Story." But Karnow's appraisal of the war did not change.

"What did we learn from Vietnam?" Karnow later told the Associated Press. "We learned that we shouldn't have been there in the first place."

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:35 PM

3. Yes, the definitive book on the Vietnam War.

Which conservatives hated, because it told the truth.

I met Karnow years ago, and what a scholar he was.

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Response to mainer (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:39 PM

4. I read his book on the Philippine War

and used it extensively as a source for my undergraduate history thesis. A most excellent scholar!

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