Daniel Ford has spent a lifetime studying and writing about the wars of the past hundred years, from Ireland's war of liberation to America's invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He received a Stern Fund award for his dispatches from South Vietnam in 1964, a Verville Fellowship at the National Air & Space Museum in 1988, and the Aviation/Space Writers Award of Excellence in 1991 for the first edition of Flying Tigers.
Covering their war are a handful of foreign reporters, including novelist Daniel Ford. Armed with a camera and a notebook, he wanders the country on foot and by military transport--helicopter, jeep, landing craft, junk, armored personnel carrier, and an Air Force flare ship--from the Mekong Delta to the Central Highlands. Once or twice a week, or whenever he is reunited with his Hermes portable, he types up an account of what he has seen and done. Here is that journal, 50-odd years after it was written. It is a freeze-frame picture of the Vietnam War before it became a quagmire. "How good-hearted we were!" Ford says of himself and the men he met in his travels. "And how badly it all turned out."