Where the Orange Blooms: One Man's War and Escape in Vietnam

Thomas Taylor, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-07-063193-9
Ben Cai Lam, a Vietnamese, served as an interpreter with the 101st Airborne Divison 1965-71, then as an infantry officer in the South Vietnamese army, ARVN, until the Communist takeover in '75. After five years in reeducation camps, he escaped and existed ``like a wild dog'' while seeking ways to flee the country with his family. As a former ARVN officer who had served with the Americans, he was worth a high bounty. Repeatedly double-crossed by escape organizers, he eventually made his way to Malaysia and freedom in an epic 1984 sea voyage. With the help of a retired general who had been his battalion commander in the 101st Airborne, Cai came to ``the destination of dreams'' and settled in Montana. This is the outline of a breathtaking personal account of combat, family tragedy and extraordinary adventure. In awkward but eloquent English, Cai's narrative is rich in cultural detail and sheds light on the subtle changes in Vietnamese attitudes from 1965 to the present. Taylor ( Born of War ), who provides a running commentary, is a former Airborne officer who knew Cai in Vietnam. His own memories of the war provide an illuminating counterpoint to Cai's story. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-556-3
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