Stalking the Vietcong: Inside Operation Phoenix: A Personal Account

Stalking the Vietcong: Inside Operation Phoenix: A Personal Account

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by Stuart Herrington
     
 

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In a gripping memoir that reads like a spy novel, one man recounts his personal experience with Operation Phoenix, the program created to destroy the Vietcong’s shadow government, which thrived in the rural communities of South Vietnam.

Stuart A. Herrington was an American intelligence advisor assigned to root out the enemy in the Hau Nghia…  See more details below

Overview

In a gripping memoir that reads like a spy novel, one man recounts his personal experience with Operation Phoenix, the program created to destroy the Vietcong’s shadow government, which thrived in the rural communities of South Vietnam.

Stuart A. Herrington was an American intelligence advisor assigned to root out the enemy in the Hau Nghia province. His two-year mission to capture or kill Communist agents operating there was made all the more difficult by local officials who were reluctant to cooperate, villagers who were too scared to talk, and VC who would not go down without a fight. Herrington developed an unexpected but intense identification with the villagers in his jurisdiction–and learned the hard way that experiencing war was profoundly different from philosophizing about it in a seminar room.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A poignant, personal account by an Army district advisor who discovered the Vietcong to be a formidable opponent.”
The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307823809
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/22/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
291,373
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

In a gripping memoir that reads like a spy novel, one man recounts his personal experience with Operation Phoenix, the program created to destroy the Vietcong’s shadow government, which thrived in the rural communities of South Vietnam.

Stuart A. Herrington was an American intelligence advisor assigned to root out the enemy in the Hau Nghia province. His two-year mission to capture or kill Communist agents operating there was made all the more difficult by local officials who were reluctant to cooperate, villagers who were too scared to talk, and VC who would not go down without a fight. Herrington developed an unexpected but intense identification with the villagers in his jurisdiction–and learned the hard way that experiencing war was profoundly different from philosophizing about it in a seminar room.

Meet the Author

Stuart A. Herrington was a counterintelligence officer in the Vietnam War. He served the last year of his thirty-year army career as a member of the faculty of the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

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Stalking the Vietcong: Inside Operation Phoenix: A Personal Account 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DJM-California More than 1 year ago
I am old enough to have been involved in the anti-war movement during America's involvement in Vietnam, and I have maintained that point of view all this time ... until I read STALKING THE VIETCONG. Herrington helped me think about Vietnam in a new way, not just the war, but also the people, i.e., the Vietnamese AND the Americans. He also convinced me that our departure from that country was unnecessarily graceless -- possibly proving, yes, that we didn't belong there in the first place, but also that some of the Americans who served there learned enough about the place and the people to have become useful and not merely war-like. I read STALKING THE VIETCONG as research for something I am writing and didn't expect to have my biases reversed, so I am grateful to Stuart Herrington for writing this excellent book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the past year I have read perhaps thirty books on the war in Vietnam. Although I was the same age as many of the author-soldiers whose books I've enjoyed, I never served in the military. In those days I went to college, became a teacher, and then received a very high number in the draft lottery and wasnt called. I was not a politically savvy young person, so I followed what the mood of the country was indicating. I was for the war, against the war, as the wind blew. But I knew young fellows that served in Vietnam and was always curious about their experiences. They were never 'babykillers' in my mind. I admire the bravery of the fighting soldier. I figure if my life were different and I had been in Vietnam, I would have probably succumbed to the oppressive humidity and heat before I even joined an assigned unit! This book does a fine job of illuminating the advisory mission of an intelligence officer stationed in the southwestern area of operations in Vietnam. But I chose to read it because the implication of the title, Stalking the Vietcong (and its first title also, Silence Was A Weapon)is of the tense, extremely engrossing LLRP missions that Gary Linderer and Larry Chambers have described, or James Donahue's novels about the mobile guerrilla force. Those are books about 'stalking' and 'silence'. This book simply is not. Another problem lies in the inclusion of the eleven photos between pp 104 and 105. Usually there are photos of theauthor and some of his buddies before or after a mission. There might be a photo of a downed chopper. some locals, a captured cache of weapons. The photos Mr Herrington includes are mostly pictures of the Vietcong with brief descriptions that point to their solidarity against the Americans. Yet the book focuses on the South Vietnamese that are working with their American advisors as part of the Phoenix program! Why did Mr Herrington show those photos?