Snepp's book, which so offended the CIA that they sought to ban it, is a useful insiders account of the diplomatic side of the United State's involvement in the Vietnam War from the 'man on the ground'. Snepp, like John Paul Vann comes across neither as a left wing critic of the war, nor an enthusiastic proponent. He was instead - it appears - someone who struggled with the failure of America's good intentions and immense sacrifice to make any headway in reforming the South Vietnamese Government or protecting and improving the life of its citizens. In many ways the book is more narrative than analysis, and the authors presence at the events that it describes lends strength to this approach. Snepp does however have one great theme - the betrayal of Vietnamese who had been compromised by working with the Americans. When the fall of Saigon and South Vietnam was imminent it seemed to Snepp that the US had made no plans to assist these Vietnamese. He accuses his immediate superiors of stupidity, lethargy and indifference. Yet there is a sense that Snepp, while a skilled intelligence analysist, was somewhat naive when it came to his own Government. Snepp fails to see that the failure to make provision to evacuate the compromised Vietnamese may have been made quite deliberately at a much higher level. Snepp may have been deliberately 'left out of the loop', not only to allow deniability, but also because he was becoming known for his sympathies with the Vietnamese. It is interesting to note Snepp's approval of the successful campaign to block refugees from entering Saigon in the final weeks. Up to that point a human flood tide of refugees had disrupted defences and morale as it swept South in front of the North Vietnamese armies, themselves struggling to keep pace. Snepp never makes the connection that the US government may have made a very similar decision to keep the American-affiliated Vietnamese from reaching refuge in the US. Restricting the evacuation to US citizens simplified things, but also avoided bringing a wave of embittered (and betrayed) Vietnamese back to the US mainland where they might keep alive a debate that some in Government there wanted to forget. Snepp's rage wouldn't have been the less if he'd thought this a deliberate strategy rather than simply due to stupidity, and there's even a chance he suspected it but preferred not to paint his own Government so black. In the end Snepp inhabited a strange world as an intelligence analysist - a world of Rumsfeldt's known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Snepp comes across as sincere man; and as subsequent events played out, a man betrayed by his own country in their attempt to portray him as a traitor. An invaluable book for its description of the last hours of America in Saigon.