Paper Soldiers

The American Press and the Vietnam War

Clarence R. Wyatt

Paper Soldiers

Clarence R. Wyatt

272 pages | 2 maps | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1993, 1995
Paper $31.00 ISBN: 9780226917955 Published March 1995
Praised and condemned for its aggressive coverage of the Vietnam War, the American press has been both commended for breaking public support and bringing the war to an end and accused of misrepresenting the nature and progress of the war. While in-depth combat coverage and the instantaneous power of television were used to challenge the war, Clarence R. Wyatt demonstrates that, more often than not, the press reported official information, statements, and views. Examining the relationship between the press and the government, Wyatt looks at how difficult it was to obtain information outside official briefings, what sort of professional constraints the press worked under, and what happened when reporters chose not to "get on the team."

"Wyatt makes the Diem period in Saigon come to life—the primitive communications, the police crackdowns, the quarrels within the news organizations between the pessimists in Saigon and the optimists in Washington and New York."—Peter Braestrup, Washington Times

"An important, readable study of the Vietnam press corps—the most maligned group of journalists in modern American history. Clarence Wyatt’s insights and assessments are particularly valuable now that the media is rapidly growing in its influence on domestic and international affairs."—Peter Arnett, CNN foreign correspondent

Ch. 1: A Different Kind of World: The Cold War and Secret Government
Ch. 2: Managing the News: The Press, Public Information, and Foreign Policy in the Kennedy Years
Ch. 3: Dramatize the Truth: Coverage of Vietnam, 1955-60
Ch. 4: In Country: The Press Comes to Vietnam, 1961-62
Ch. 5: "Let Them Burn": The Buddhist Crisis of 1963
Ch. 6: "Get on the Team": The End of Diem
Ch. 7: "I Don’t Know": Explaining the War, 1964-67
Ch. 8: "Fighting in the Open": Sources and the Story, 1964-67
Ch. 9: "Buddha Will Understand": The Crisis of Confidence, 1967-68
Ch. 10: No More Bodies: Turning Away from Vietnam, 1969-75
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