The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took On the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home

Heath Hardage Lee. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-16110-9
This inspirational work by curator-historian Lee (Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause) tells of Vietnam-era military wives who were “expected to sit down, shut up, keep a low profile,” but instead worked tirelessly to help their POW husbands. From 1965 to 1973, hundreds of American military pilots were shot down over southeast Asia and became prisoners of war. Despite being told by the government to wait for negotiations to proceed, POW wives Jane Denton and Sybil Stockdale formed a powerful partnership; it grew from home-hosted support groups to the establishment of the formal advocacy organization the National League of Families. They’re among a larger cast of military wives and POW/MIA advocates who relentlessly lobbied politicians, conducted local and national meetings, embarked on diplomatic missions to North Vietnamese embassies in Europe, and launched savvy media campaigns. The Johnson administration wanted to keep the POWs’ torture and mistreatment a secret, the State Department considered the wives a nuisance, and Congress was “oblivious to their plight,” so they became “fighters... at war with their own government.” In this beautifully told history, Lee unearths the contributions of everyday women who not only saved their husbands but influenced military culture. Agent: Katherine Flynn, the Kneerim and Williams Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/29/2019
Release date: 04/02/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Library Binding - 560 pages - 978-1-4328-6495-8
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-250-16111-6
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