A Vietcong Memoirby Troung Nhu Tang, David Chanoff, Doan Van Toai
When he was a student in Paris, Truong Nhu Tang met Ho Chi Minh. Later he fought in the Vietnamese jungle and emerged as one of the major figures in the "fight for liberation" and one of the most determined adversaries of the United States. He became the Vietcong's Minister of Justice, but at the end of the war he fled the country in disillusionment and despair… See more details below
When he was a student in Paris, Truong Nhu Tang met Ho Chi Minh. Later he fought in the Vietnamese jungle and emerged as one of the major figures in the "fight for liberation" and one of the most determined adversaries of the United States. He became the Vietcong's Minister of Justice, but at the end of the war he fled the country in disillusionment and despair. He now lives in exile in Paris, the highest level official to have defected from Vietnam to the West. This is his candid, revealing and unforgettable autobiography.
"By showing the nature and hidden strength of our opponents, this account goes a long way toward explaining why America failed in Vietnam despite its greatly superior military power. But A Vietcong Memoir is more than just an exposition of the revolutionaries' side of the war. It is also an absorbing and moving autobiography...An important addition not only to the literature of Vietnam but to the larger human story of hope, violence and disillusion in the political life of our era."
Arnold R. Isaacs, Chicago Tribune
"Literate, mercifully free of the stridencies and banalities that characterize the Communists' agitprop prose. The prose gives off an aura of authenticity and reasonableness."
Robert Manning, The New York Times Book Review
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
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I thought this book would be a Viet Cong memoir but instead I feel like I am read some kind of primer. This book is full of political platitudes and hurrah for our side. I believe the U.S. should not have been there in Vietnam in the first place, but this book is obnoxious! I live in hope I can read a account from the Vietcong side that could be just an account with feeling and not so politico! You know like a human being!
Much has been written about the American experience in Vietnam, and much remains highly contested. Was the war worth the cost in lives? Was the public in America really being manipulated by the Vietnamese communists or was that right-wing paranoia? Was the revolution just an anti-colonialist, nationalist movement making use of the Communist shield (i.e. supplies, political support etc) or was this a genuine Communist revolution and evidence of the 'domino theory' at work? More often than not, these arguments take place without facts, without proper information, and sadly, without responsible sources from the Vietnamese side. Tang's book is a rare glimpse into the Vietcong's workings, their goals, their methods and their tactics. It is a must-read for those interested in the war, but also for those who wish to gain a better understanding of international relations more generally. His book reminds us that we are not all working towards the same goals.