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Tet Offensive account published by AP for 50th anniversary

The Associated Press has published “We’re Taking Fire: A Reporter’s View of the Vietnam War, Tet and the Fall of LBJ,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Peter Arnett, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive.

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This powerful account revisits Arnett’s coverage of the Vietnam War for AP, examining what led to the surprise attack that began in the early hours of Jan. 31, 1968, and became a turning point of the war, and the turbulent aftermath.

An eyewitness to the battles, maneuvers and cultural challenges that prevented a definitive victory, Arnett explores the complexities that drove the decisions made by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations and how each was unable to achieve a winning strategy that would put an end to the unpopular war.

Arnett, who reported on the Vietnam War for AP from 1962 until its end in 1975, offers a unique perspective that only someone who was on the ground can share, as well as sharp analysis shaped by observing U.S.-Vietnam relations in the decades after the war.

“Peter Arnett’s account of the Tet Offensive is riveting from the first chapter,” said Peter Costanzo, AP digital publishing specialist. “His insights and observations as to how this pivotal moment impacted both U.S. strategy and Johnson’s presidency are invaluable, shedding light on lessons learned and lessons forgotten 50 years later.” 

Illustrating the compelling story are more than 50 images from AP’s photo archive and Arnett’s personal collection.

Arnett won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1966 for his Vietnam coverage. He later joined CNN and became well-known to TV audiences during the first Gulf War when he broadcast live from Baghdad during the U.S. raids. 

“We’re Taking Fire” is available in paperback and as an e-book exclusively on Amazon.


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Lauren Easton
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press
212-621-7005
leaston@ap.org