The Spy Who Loved Us

The Spy Who Loved Us : The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game

3.98 (59 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$26.96

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Pham Xuan An was a brilliant journalist and an even better spy. A friend to all the legendary reporters who covered the Vietnam War, he was an invaluable source of news and a font of wisdom on all things Vietnamese. At the same time, he was a masterful double agent. An inspired shape-shifter who kept his cover in place until the day he died, Pham Xuan An ranks as one of the preeminent spies of the twentieth century. When Thomas A. Bass set out to write the story of Ans remarkable career for The New Yorker, fresh revelations arrived daily during their freewheeling conversations, which began in 1992. But a good spy is always at work, and it was not until Ans death in 2006 that Bass was able to lift the veil from his carefully guarded story to offer up this fascinating portrait of a hidden life. A masterful history that reads like a John le Carr thriller, The Spy Who Loved Us offers a vivid portrait of journalists and spies at war.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • H
  • 1586484095
  • 9781586484095
  • 1,267,772

About Thomas A. Bass

Thomas A. Bass is the author of The Eudaemonic Pie, Vietnamerica, The Predictors, and other books. Cited by the Overseas Press Club for his foreign reporting, he is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Wired, Smithsonian, The New York Times, and other publications. He is Professor of English and Journalism at the State University of New York in Albany.show more

Review quote

John Le Carre"I was deeply impressed by this book. It is relevant, instructive, funny. The shock of the double never goes away. Neither does the gullibility of the arrogant intruder." John Le Carre"I was deeply impressed by this book. It is relevant, instructive, funny. The shock of the double never goes away. Neither does the gullibility of the arrogant intruder."Morley Safer, Correspondent, CBS 60 Minutes and author of "Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam" "The story of Pham Xuan An is the revelation of a remarkable life and a remarkable man. Fictional accounts of practitioners of the Great Game--the craft of spying--come nowhere near the real thing that was practiced by An. In "The Spy Who Loved Us," An is revealed as a man of split loyalties, who managed to maintain his humanity. Cast prejudices aside and you will discover a true hero, scholar, patriot, humanist and masterful spy."Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" "This is a brilliant book about a man and his times. It strengthens the feeling I got from meeting him late in his life that Pham Xuan An was one of the most impressive people I have ever encountered. He was a man of wisdom, courage, and clear-headed patriotism. He was also--even if it seems ironic to say this under the circumstances--a man of extraordinary integrity. He loved us at our best even while confronting us at our worst."H.D.S. Greenway, Editor, "The Boston Globe" and Vietnam war reporter for "Time" and the "Washington Post" "Thomas Bass tells a fantastic tale of intrigue, espionage, and friendship. His book reads as if it came from the farthest shores of fiction, and I wouldn't believe a word of it if I hadn't met so many of its characters and didn't know the story to be true."John Laurence, Vietnam war reporter for CBS News and author of "The Cat from Hue: a Vietnam War Story" "Every veteran, every scholar, every student, everyone who survived the Vietnam War is advised to read this book and reflect on its wisdom. In his thoughtful, provocative biography of one of the most successful espionage agents in history, Thomas Bass challenges some of our most fundamental assumptions about what really happened in Vietnam and what it means to us today."Seymour Hersh, author of "Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib" "This is a chilling account of betrayal of an American army -- and an American press corps -- involved in a guerrilla war in a society about which little was known or understood. The spy here was in South Vietnam, and his ultimate motives, as Thomas Bass makes clear, were far more complex than those of traditional espionage. This book, coming now, has another message, too, for me -- have we put ourselves in the same position, once again, in Iraq?"Seymour Topping, former Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Managing Editor of "The New York Times" "Thomas Bass has rendered a sensitive, revealing portrait of the strangely ambivalent personality I knew during the Vietnam War. In doing so he provided us with unique insights into the nature, conflicting sentiments and heartbreak of many Vietnamese who worked with Americans, made friends with them, but in the end loved their land more and sought, as their ancestors had a for a thousand years, to free it from all trespassers.""The Foreword," January/February issue "Intriguing ... masterful ....This first-rate account, which will appeal to general readers as well as historians, portrays An as a man caught between two cultures who never lost sight of his ultimate goal, peace and prosperity for Vietnam." Morley Safer, Correspondent, CBS 60 Minutes and author of "Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam" "The story of Pham Xuan An is the revelation of a remarkable life and a remarkable man. Fictional accounts of practitioners of the Great Game--the craft of spying--come nowhere near the real thing that was practiced by An. In "The Spy Who Loved Us," An is revealed as a man of split loyalties, who managed to maintain his humanity. Cast prejudices aside and you will discover a true hero, scholar, patriot, humanist and masterful spy."Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" "This is a brilliant book about a man and his times. It strengthens the feeling I got from meeting him late in his life that Pham Xuan An was one of the most impressive people I have ever encountered. He was a man of wisdom, courage, and clear-headed patriotism. He was also--even if it seems ironic to say this under the circumstances--a man of extraordinary integrity. He loved us at our best even while confronting us at our worst."H.D.S. Greenway, Editor, "The Boston Globe" and Vietnam war reporter for "Time" and the "Washington Post" "Thomas Bass tells a fantastic tale of intrigue, espionage, and friendship. His book reads as if it came from the farthest shores of fiction, and I wouldn't believe a word of it if I hadn't met so many of its characters and didn't know the story to be true."John Laurence, Vietnam war reporter for CBS News and author of "The Cat from Hue: a Vietnam War Story" "Every veteran, every scholar, every student, everyone who survived the Vietnam War is advised to read this book and reflect on its wisdom. In his thoughtful, provocativebiography of one of the most successful espionage agents in history, Thomas Bass challenges some of our most fundamental assumptions about what really happened in Vietnam and what it means to us today."Seymour Hersh, author of "Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib" "This is a chilling account of betrayal of an American army -- and an American press corps -- involved in a guerrilla war in a society about which little was known or understood. The spy here was in South Vietnam, and his ultimate motives, as Thomas Bass makes clear, were far more complex than those of traditional espionage. This book, coming now, has another message, too, for me -- have we put ourselves in the same position, once again, in Iraq?"Seymour Topping, former Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Managing Editor of "The New York Times" "Thomas Bass has rendered a sensitive, revealing portrait of the strangely ambivalent personality I knew during the Vietnam War. In doing so he provided us with unique insights into the nature, conflicting sentiments and heartbreak of many Vietnamese who worked with Americans, made friends with them, but in the end loved their land more and sought, as their ancestors had a for a thousand years, to free it from all trespassers.""The Foreword," January/February issue "Intriguing ... masterful ....This first-rate account, which will appeal to general readers as well as historians, portrays An as a man caught between two cultures who never lost sight of his ultimate goal, peace and prosperity for Vietnam." "Publishers Weekly," October 6, 2008 "An evocation of a murky Saigon during war, where truth was a rare commodity and virtually everyone had an ulterior motive." Morley Safer, Correspondent, CBS 60 Minutes and author of "Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam" "The story of Pham Xuan An is the revelation of a remarkable life and a remarkable man. Fictional accounts of practitioners of the Great Game--the craft of spying--come nowhere near the real thing that was practiced by An. In "The Spy Who Loved Us," An is revealed as a man of split loyalties, who managed to maintain his humanity. Cast prejudices aside and you will discover a true hero, scholar, patriot, humanist and masterful spy." Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" "This is a brilliant book about a man and his times. It strengthens the feeling I got from meeting him late in his life that Pham Xuan An was one of the most impressive people I have ever encountered. He was a man of wisdom, courage, and clear-headed patriotism. He was also--even if it seems ironic to say this under the circumstances--a man of extraordinary integrity. He loved us at our best even while confronting us at our worst." H.D.S. Greenway, Editor, "The Boston Globe" and Vietnam war reporter for "Time" and the "Washington Pos" "Thomas Bass tells a fantastic tale of intrigue, espionage, and friendship. His book reads as if it came from the farthest shores of fiction, and I wouldn't believe a word of it if I hadn't met so many of its characters and didn't know the story to be true." John Laurence, Vietnam war reporter for CBS News and author of "The Catfrom Hue: a Vietnam War Story" "Every veteran, every scholar, every student, everyone who survived the Vietnam War is advised to read this book and reflect on its wisdom. In his thoughtful, provocative biography of one of the most successful espionage agents in history, Thomas Bass challenges some of our most fundamental assumptions about what really happened in Vietnam and what it means to us today." Seymour Hersch, author of "Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib" "This is a chilling account of betrayal of an American army -- and an American press corps -- involved in a guerrilla war in a society about which little was known or understood. The spy here was in South Vietnam, and his ultimate motives, as Thomas Bass makes clear, were far more complex than those of traditional espionage. This book, coming now, has another message, too, for me--have we put ourselves in the same position, once again, in Iraq?" Seymour Topping, former Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Managing Editor of "The New York Times" "Thomas Bass has rendered a sensitive, revealing portrait of the strangely ambivalent personality I knew during the Vietnam War. In doing so he provided us with unique insights into the nature, conflicting sentiments and heartbreak of many Vietnamese who worked with Americans, made friends with them, but in the end loved their land more and sought, as their ancestors had a for a thousand years, to free it from all trespassers." "The Foreword," January/February issue"A masterful account.... This first-rate account, which will appeal to general readers as well as historians, portrays An as a man caught between two cultures who neverlost sight of his ultimate goal, peace and prosperity for Vietnam."show more

Rating details

59 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 29% (17)
4 47% (28)
3 19% (11)
2 3% (2)
1 2% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X