John Laurence covered the Vietnam War for CBS News from 1965 to 1970 and was judged by his colleagues to be the best television reporter of the war. He lived with a squad of American soldiers in the jungles of War Zone C to produce an unforgettable documentary, The World of Charlie Company, which won every major award for broadcast journalism and also the George Polk memorial award for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and enterprise abroad".
Despite the professional acclaim, the traumatic stories Laurence covered became a personal burden that he brought home and carried long after the war was over. The result is this passionate memoir about what he witnessed there, laced with humor, anger, love, and the unforgettable story of a very idiosyncratic cat who was determined to play his part in the Vietnam revolution. In reconstructing his experiences, Laurence relied not only on his notes and memory and formidable literary skill, but on dozens of hours of film footage shot at the time, giving the book an uncanny power and fidelity to facts. The Cat from Hue is full of bizarre stories of unknown soldiers and famous journalists and generals, of incredible humanity and tenderness and also corruption and cowardice, of the worlds of the American grunt and of the Vietnamese civilian, and of the price of survival and sanity. Along the way, it clarifies the history of that murky war and illuminates the role that journalists played in it. This book will stand with Michael Herr's Dispatches, Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War, and Ward Just's To What End as one of the best ever written about Vietnam.