So he sets about helping the Vietnamese find a third way between French colonialism and communism. It takes the already jaded Fowler to see that such idealism is not only misplaced, but cannot possibly coexist with the notion that the ends will justify the means.
Writing in the 1950s, as France struggled to hold Indo-China (or leave with dignity) Greene’s is a contemporary story. Yet it reads as if the author’s already been through the Vietnam War and witnessed the Quiet American’s greatest folly.
(originally posted to Amazon October 7, 2003)
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