Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — American historian Larry Berman, author of a book on Vietnamese legendary spy Phạm Xuân Ẩn, spoke about the famous spy with students from the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) yesterday.
Speaking at the talk “Phạm Xuân Ẩn’s Dream for Việt Nam,” Berman told tales of the intelligence agent’s life and his dream of peace and friendship between Việt Nam and the US.
“Ẩn’s great dream is that war is over,” he said, adding that Ẩn had also helped heal relations between Việt Nam and the US.
Berman’s book, Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter and Vietnamese Communist Agent, was released in 2007.
Major General Ẩn (1927 – 2006), who was also known as X6, Trần Văn Trung and Hai Trung, began to take part in revolutionary activities in the early 1950s and was inducted into the Communist party in 1953.
He was sent to study journalism in the US to create a cover to penetrate deeper into the government and military of the former Sài Gòn administration.
After returning to Việt Nam, Ẩn worked for Reuters, Time magazine and the New York Herald Tribune while providing intelligence to the Vietnamese army fighting against the US invasion of south Việt Nam and the former Sài Gòn administration.
After the war, he was awarded the title "Hero of the People’s Armed Forces" by the Vietnamese Government.
His life was featured in a 12-episode documentary produced by Vietnamese female director Lê Phong Lan. The film was broadcast on HCM City Television (HTV) in 2006.
Berman is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California-Davis.
He has written several books on the Việt Nam War, including Planning a Tragedy: The Americanization of the War in Viet Nam and Lyndon Johnson’s War: The Road to Stalemate in Viet Nam.
He visited Việt Nam several times to write his book on Ẩn, and later returned to introduce his book and talk about the spy.
The talk at USSH, which was part of the school’s 60th anniversary celebration, attracted more than 200 students and lecturers.
Lê Hữu Phước, deputy headmaster of USSH, expressed his gratitude to Berman for his visit.
“Berman’s love for Việt Nam heals the war wounds of two countries and promotes friendship between their peoples,” he said at the event. VNS