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September 26, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER: Hanoi and Saigon by Neil Sheehan (Vintage: $9.; 131 pp.). Sheehan was a fervent partisan of American intervention when he served as a correspondent in Vietnam in the early '60s, but the waste, corruption, deceit and death he witnessed there reversed his opinion of the war. Thirty years later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist revisited Vietnam--once-forbidden Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)--talking with government officials and men and women he met in the streets and fields. Although sympathetic to the Vietnamese people, Sheehan is highly critical of the inefficient government of Vietnam, and happily notes the replacement of hard-line Marxists by more liberal capitalists. The result is an engaging, if often one-sided, portrait of a country.

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