Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, was the country’s third-largest city in 1968 when it became the center of the Tet Offensive. The North Vietnamese stormed Hue from hidden outposts, surprising and then overwhelming American and South Vietnamese forces. The fight lasted twenty-four days and the 10,000 killed there made it the bloodiest battle of the war. It also definitively turned the tide against the U.S. Bowden’s comprehensive account vividly captures each stage of the action from multiple viewpoints, and he combines meticulous reporting, including a look at the role of the media in revealing what was happening, with profiles, stories, and cinematic set pieces. The author of books including Black Hawk Down, Killing Pablo, and, most recently, The Three Battles of Wanat, Bowden is a feature writer for the Atlantic and Vanity Fair.
Bowden will be in conversation with Bob Woodward, Washington Post associate editor.