World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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A Bright Shining Lie

1/8/72

Amb. Quinn informally describes how a book published after the war revealed a morally questionable incident ended John Vann’s military career, but that Vann had presented his retirement from the U.S. Army as being about his disagreement with the military approach to pacification in Vietnam. The author Neil Sheehan discovered the truth about Vann’s military background and titled his biography “A Bright Shining Lie.” Amb. Quinn noted that this became a metaphor for the war itself. While the book diminished Amb. Quinn’s regard for Vann, he nonetheless acknowledged that more than any other American, Vann was admired, especially by younger officers, because he “told it like it was.”

© 2020 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.