Bernard Fall was born in Vienna in 1926, migrating to France in 1938. After his father was killed by the Gestapo and his mother killed at Auschwitz, he joined the French Resistance at sixteen, then the French Army. Following World War II, he was an analyst with the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Coming to the U.S. in the early 1950s, he earned a masters and a doctorate at Syracuse. He first traveled to Indochina in 1953, returning in 1957, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967, when he was killed by a mine on the "street without joy," the highway he had described in his book. His other books include Hell in a Very Small Place (PB, Da Capo).