Strange Ground: Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975, an Oral History

Harry Maurer, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (634p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0919-4
The 65 Americans who shared their vivid memories with Maurer ( Not Working ) include secretaries, PR men, agricultural advisers, missionaries, surgical assistants, relief workers, psychiatrists, CIA agents and anti-war activists who visited Hanoi. Combat vets are in the minority here. Very bluntly they relate their experiences in Vietnam, starting with an OSS man who offered official aid to Ho Chi Minh in 1945 (the sign at Ho's camp said ``Welcome to Our American Friends'') and ending with a guilt-ridden account by a State Department official involved in the 1975 evacuation. In between: a black Army sergeant who thoroughly enjoyed his combat tour; a clerk who found Vietnam a homosexual paradise; a psychiatrist assigned to treat men for whom Vietnam itself had become a phobia; a GI who regarded the country as a drug supermarket; a secretary who says of her sojourn in Vietnam, ``I had fun there. I loved it . . . . '' But the book is not an upbeat view of the war. On the contrary, it may be the most gut-wrenching, heartrending account to date. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 652 pages - 978-0-306-80839-5
Paperback - 978-0-380-70931-1
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