An epic saga of twentieth-century Vietnam hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the War and Peace of our age”
Joseph Sherman first visits Saigon, the capital of French colonial Cochin-China, in 1925 on a hunting expedition with his father, a US senator. He is lured back again and again as a traveler, a soldier, and then as a reporter by his fascination for the exotic land and for Lan, a mandarin’s daughter he cannot forget.
Over five decades Joseph’s life becomes enmeshed with the political intrigues of two of Saigon’s most influential families, the French colonist Devrauxs, and the native Trans—and inevitably with Vietnam’s turbulent, wartorn fate. He is there when the hatred of a million coolies rises against the French, and when the French Foreign Legion fights its bloody last stand at Dien Bien Phu. He sees US military “advisors” fire their first shots in America’s hopeless war against the red tide of Communist revolution and tries to salvage something of lasting value on a desperate helicopter flight out of defeated Saigon.
At once a story of adventure, love, war, and political power, Saigon presents an enthralling and enlightening depiction of twentieth-century Vietnam.