In ‘Hue 1968,’ author examines a key chapter in the Vietnam War

0 Mark Bowden wrote “Black Hawk Down” and the new “Hue 1968.” Contributed by John Olson Like his epochal best-seller “Black Hawk Down,” Mark Bowden’s “Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam” is the story of a battle. Like “Black Hawk Down,” it is smart, well-reported and hypnotic in spots. Also like “Black Hawk Down,” it might very well become a motion picture (Michael Mann has optioned the rights to it and is contemplating a miniseries version.) But Bowden didn’t initially want to write it. “About 10 years ago, an editor suggested it,” Bowden said. “I didn’t really want to write another story about a battle, didn’t want to go down the same road twice, but he encouraged me to look into it a little bit.” The more Bowden examined it, the more the battle began to fascinate him — it became clear that the Battle of Hue, which took place over about a month in January of 1968, was, as he puts it, “a lens on a larger experience in the Vietnam War.” “I think it was the fact that it was, at the time, the third largest city in Vietnam never fully registered […]

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