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Robert Dallek,
author of Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power
Perfect Spy illustrates the proposition that truth can be stranger than fiction. Larry Berman has brilliantly captured Pham Xuan An's incredible double life. His book is informative history with the attributes of a Cold War spy thriller.
Robert Sam Anson,
author of War News: A Young Reporter in Indochina
Pham Xuan An was my colleague, teacher and friend -- and the person who saved my life in a long-ago war. I thought I knew him as well as any American, until I read Larry Berman's book. There were revelations for me on every page.
Douglas Brinkley,
professor of history,
Tulane University
An intriguing story of clandestine activities during the Vietnam War. Berman, one of America’s best historians, breaks incredible new ground in these pages. An important new addition to our understanding of the Cold War battles in Southeast Asia. A must-read.
Bui Diem,
Former Ambassador of South Vietnam to the U.S.
An extremely captivating story told in part by the spy himself to the author about his secret activities on behalf of North Vietnam. One has to concede that through deception and self control, Pham Xuan An fooled everyone with his cover, including his most trusted friends in the news media and inside the South Vietnamese government. Larry Berman's well researched book is a fascinating chronicle of an intertwined double life and a must read.
Bernard Kalb,
veteran journalist;
co-author of The Last Ambassador and Kissinger
I still find it spooky to recall An’s telling me, years after his cover was blown, that even as we were having lunch in Saigon during the war, he was secretly sending off spy reports to his Communist bosses in the jungle. But that’s what he was, a ‘spook’—a passionate Vietnamese nationalist, not an ideologue—and Larry Berman in his book—insightful, overdue, an authentic ‘Shock and Awe’ story—deftly humanizes the contradictions in An’s life as a spy for Hanoi while at the same time working for US news organizations to mask his grand deception. His admiration for the US was overwhelmed by his love of country—free of a foreign presence. One question haunting the pages of this book is what would you have done if History had cast you in An’s shoes.

David Lamb,
author Vietnam Now
Read Larry Berman’s well-researched book and you’ll understand why victory was never truly within the United States’ reach.

Stanley Karnow,
author of Vietnam: A History and winner of the 1991
Pulitzer Prize in history
One of the most fascinating figures in Vietnam during the War was Pham Xuan An, a Time correspondent; and, unbeknownst to me and my colleagues who covered the conflict, a clandestine Vietcong agent. Larry Berman has unraveled the mystery of his strange double life in an engrossing narrative.

Dan Southerland,
executive editor,
Radio Free Asia,
and former correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Saigon
No one knows how many people might have died as a result of An's clandestine activities. But Larry Berman has done a superb job of explaining the making of a master spy. There's plenty here for both supporters and critics of the Vietnam War to ponder.
Copyright © 2007 polyvizion All rights reserved.
Updated: 03/28/2007