Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting

Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting

by Beverly Deepe Keever

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Overview

Chosen for 2015 One Book One Nebraska

In 1961, equipped with a master’s degree from famed Columbia Journalism School and letters of introduction to Associated Press bureau chiefs in Asia, twenty-six-year-old Beverly Deepe set off on a trip around the world. Allotting just two weeks to South Vietnam, she was still there seven years later, having then earned the distinction of being the longest-serving American correspondent covering the Vietnam War and garnering a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

In Death Zones and Darling Spies, Beverly Deepe Keever describes what it was like for a farm girl from Nebraska to find herself halfway around the world, trying to make sense of one of the nation’s bloodiest and bitterest wars. She arrived in Saigon as Vietnam’s war entered a new phase and American helicopter units and provincial advisers were unpacking. She tells of traveling from her Saigon apartment to jungles where Wild West–styled forts first dotted Vietnam’s borders and where, seven years later, they fell like dominoes from communist-led attacks. In 1965 she braved elephant grass with American combat units armed with unparalleled technology to observe their valor—and their inability to distinguish friendly farmers from hide-and-seek guerrillas.

Keever’s trove of tissue-thin memos to editors, along with published and unpublished dispatches for New York and London media, provide the reader with you-are-there descriptions of Buddhist demonstrations and turning-point coups as well as phony ones. Two Vietnamese interpreters, self-described as “darling spies,” helped her decode Vietnam’s shadow world and subterranean war. These memoirs, at once personal and panoramic, chronicle the horrors of war and a rise and decline of American power and prestige.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803246065
Publisher: UNP - Nebraska Paperback
Publication date: 05/01/2013
Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 344
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Beverly Deepe Keever is professor emerita at the University of Hawaii and the author of News Zero: The New York Times and the Bomb. She was inducted into the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame in 2015.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Introduction: From Midwest Dustbowl to Mystical Vietnam

1. The People's War

2. Rice-Roots Reporting

3. "The World's First Helicopter War"

4. The Rise and Fall of Frontier Forts

5. Two Ill-Fated Presidents

6. "The United States Will Lose Southeast Asia"

7. Americanizing the War

8. Her Story as History Too

9. "Destroy the Town to Save It"

10. From Khe Sanh to the "Virtual Equivalent of Treason"

11. Two "Darling Spies" and I

Appendix 1: Author's Vietnam Articles in U.S. Publications

Appendix 2: Author's 1966 New York Herald Tribune Series (Inserted into the Congressional Record by Senator Mike Mansfield)

Notes

Source Acknowledgments

Index

What People are Saying About This

Stanley Karnow

“Few correspondents engaged in the protracted, ugly war in Laos and Vietnam were as diligent and perceptive as Beverly Deepe. As energetic and intrepid as her male counterparts, she slogged through dense jungles, flooded rice fields, and thick rubber plantations, filing dispatches that shed insights on that futile conflict. Her account of that experience is authoritative, credible, lucid, vivid, and above all readable.”—Stanley Karnow, author of Vietnam: A History and winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in history

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Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wow... very brave and inspiring woman and author.
Christine_Kohler More than 1 year ago
In 1961, equipped with a master’s degree from famed Columbia Journalism School and letters of introduction to Associated Press bureau chiefs in Asia, twenty-six-year-old Beverly Deepe set off on a trip around the world. Allotting just two weeks to South Vietnam, she was still there seven years later, having then earned the distinction of being the longest-serving American correspondent covering the Vietnam War and garnering a Pulitzer Prize nomination. In Death Zones and Darling Spies, Beverly Deepe Keever describes what it was like for a farm girl from Nebraska to find herself halfway around the world, trying to make sense of one of the nation’s bloodiest and bitterest wars. She arrived in Saigon as Vietnam’s war entered a new phase and American helicopter units and provincial advisers were unpacking. She tells of traveling from her Saigon apartment to jungles where Wild West–styled forts first dotted Vietnam’s borders and where, seven years later, they fell like dominoes from communist-led attacks. In 1965 she braved elephant grass with American combat units armed with unparalleled technology to observe their valor—and their inability to distinguish friendly farmers from hide-and-seek guerrillas. Keever’s trove of tissue-thin memos to editors, along with published and unpublished dispatches for New York and London media, provide the reader with you-are-there descriptions of Buddhist demonstrations and turning-point coups as well as phony ones. Two Vietnamese interpreters, self-described as “darling spies,” helped her decode Vietnam’s shadow world and subterranean war. These memoirs, at once personal and panoramic, chronicle the horrors of war and a rise and decline of American power and prestige.