The Quiet American and Bloods are two different accounts of the Vietnam War in various stages of the wars development. Both portray a different approach to warfare by diverse types of American people. The contrast in the cultural backgrounds of the main characters of each book dramatically changes the way in which the Vietnamese soldiers view them as enemies. The state of American involvement is increased from a covert type in The Quiet American to an active military engagement in Bloods which makes it difficult to compare the two as equals. One theme that is synonymous in both works is race played a large role in the interaction of these Americans with the Vietnamese people they encountered and even their own allies.
The Quiet American is basically a novel about a U.S. government agent who is in Vietnam in the 1950s while the French are at war with the Viet Minh.
The agent, Alden Pyle, is a Harvard educated white upper class man. His mission is to economically support a "Third Force". This private army battles both the communist Viet Minh and the French colonialists. Communism and colonialism are ideals that are not accepted by his morals and superiors and eventually caused his death.
Bloods is simply a collection of stories narrated by African-American Vietnam veterans. The characters in Bloods have very different morals and upbringings than those displayed by Pyle. Most of these men returned to homes that did not improve because of the struggles they survived. Despite all of the obstacles they faced many of these men became decent, successful people.
Race is quite clearly a factor in the Pyle's job and how his death is explained to the world media. His covert actions were kept a secret in order not to create an international incident. The...