counter create hit A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare

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 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.

30 review for A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath

  1. 4 out of 5

    Naeem

    Review of Doan Truong Nhu Tang, A Viet Cong Memoir The most important thing to know about this book is that it is beautifully written and wonderfully translated. The pages fly by and when the book ends you find yourself asking for more, the next volume, the missing elements, you don’t want to leave the presence of this narrator. Truong Nhu Tang was part of the Vietnamese elite: educated in French schools, sent abroad to study in French University and heir to rubber plantations. He breaks with his Review of Doan Truong Nhu Tang, A Viet Cong Memoir The most important thing to know about this book is that it is beautifully written and wonderfully translated. The pages fly by and when the book ends you find yourself asking for more, the next volume, the missing elements, you don’t want to leave the presence of this narrator. Truong Nhu Tang was part of the Vietnamese elite: educated in French schools, sent abroad to study in French University and heir to rubber plantations. He breaks with his familial obligations to study something practical and pursues philosophy and politics, eventually becoming enamored by Ho Chi Minh’s anti-colonial nationalism and socialist ideas as well as by his persona. He returns to Vietnam taking up his family duties in various enterprises before turning again to a politics that is nationalist/socialist and is decidedly anti-colonial. The book is heartbreaking in at least two ways: he makes you weep with the pain and suffering he endures during his imprisonment torture, during the U.S. bombing, during his life in the jungle – half starved, fighting malaria, regressed into childhood from the bombs, and as he faces the onslaught of criticism from his wife and mother when the revolutionaries “betray” the South’s hopes for some kind of autonomy from the North. You feel the details. But somehow presents the suffering without inflicting a sense of guilt on the reader. Second, the book is heartbreaking, because as he gives everything to the fight – breaking from his family to support the struggle against the French and the USians -- he finally concedes that he can no longer support a party that has gone against its promises to allow the South to forge its own path. Finally, he moves into three types of exile: physical, since he moves out of Vietnam; familial, since he leaves behind parts of his extended family; ideological, since he writes from Paris and we don’t know what to make of the sum of his life. This is a political memoir; we get to connect macro-world events with the actual lives of real people. However, not everything is here. He marries three times but we hardly learn about his wives; he demonstrates the overlap between the culture of family loyalty and politics (something the European invaders fail to understand) but both his break from his family and his eventual disgraced return to them does not receive the descriptive thickness that he himself stresses. Finally, the communist party is, in the end, portrayed as villainous rather than given the consideration and nuance he provides to Vietnamese nationalist aspirations prior to “victory” over the USA. The defeat that the French and the USA could not inflict, he laments, the Vietnamese wreaked on themselves. It’s a tragedy -- well worth reading. But not a perfect tragedy. Here is a passage from pp. 168-9: “On these occasions -- when the B-52s had found their mark – the complex would be utterly destroyed: food, clothes, supplies, documents everything. It was not just that things were destroyed; in some awesome way they and ceased to exist. You would come back to where your lean-to and bunker had been, your home, and there would simply be nothing there, just an unrecognizable landscape gouged by immense craters. “Equally often, however, we were not so fortunate and had time only to take cover as best we could. The first few times I experienced a B-52 attack it seemed, as I strained to press myself into the bunker floor, that I had been caught in the Apocalypse. The terror was complete. One lost control of bodily functions as the mind screamed incomprehensible orders to get out. On one occasion a soviet delegation was visiting our ministry [the Ministry of Justice – in the jungle] when a particularly short-notice warning came through. When it was over, no one had been hurt, but the entire delegation had sustained considerable damage to its dignity – uncontrollable trembling and wet pants the all-too-obvious outward signs of inner convulsions. The visitors could have spared themselves their feelings of embarrassment; each of their hosts was a veteran of the same symptoms.” And, from page 194: “The first major subject on the agenda has nothing to do with clarification of roles, with future strategy, or with anything pertinent to the war. Instead we found ourselves presented with the Marxist proposition that “matter is of primary nature” and that the material universe exists independently of and prior to thought and spirit. This thesis was very hard going with a group of Asian intellectuals who, French-trained though they were, had imbibed Buddhist and Confucian spirituality with their mother’s milk. The argument heated up quickly, the Marxists striving to assert their axioms and demonstrate the inevitable historical corollaries, while their opponents responded with stubborn sarcasm and expressions of disbelief. As the debate reached the stratosphere of inconsequentiality, I began to feel disoriented. The war that was to decide the future of the homeland was raging on, and here we were in the middle of the Cambodian wilderness, debating doctrines of essence and existence. The whole thing had a surreal quality to it.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Burnam-Fink

    An absolutely astonishing autobiography, the Vietnamese equivalent to A Bright Shining Lie, and a candid look into the inner workings of the revolution, its strengths, and its flaws. Tang was a child of privileged in colonial Saigon, second of sixth sons, educated in French culture by his father and Confucian tradition by his grandfather. In 1945, when the Japanese surrendered and Ho Chi Minh proclaimed a revolutionary state, Tang took his father's bird rifle and joined the vanguard youth, where An absolutely astonishing autobiography, the Vietnamese equivalent to A Bright Shining Lie, and a candid look into the inner workings of the revolution, its strengths, and its flaws. Tang was a child of privileged in colonial Saigon, second of sixth sons, educated in French culture by his father and Confucian tradition by his grandfather. In 1945, when the Japanese surrendered and Ho Chi Minh proclaimed a revolutionary state, Tang took his father's bird rifle and joined the vanguard youth, where be became a platoon commander by virtue of being the only one with a gun. He quit in disgust after seeing other vanguard youth beat an innocent French civilian. Tang went to Paris to further his education, and while he met Ho Chi Minh and was most impressed with the man's personal integrity and humility, and became patriotic and anticolonial, remained resolutely anti-political. He returned to Saigon after the Paris peace accords, eager to help build an independent South Vietnam and willing to give the new American-backed President Diem a chance. Within a year, Diem's brutality and incompetence had blown through Tang's goodwill and optimism, and he became a committed revolutionary. By day Tang was Director General of the national sugar company, but by night he was a leader of the resistance-organizing meetings among the Saigon elite. A first arrest in 1965 had Tang in prison with what seemed like most of Siagon's civil society-businessmen, professors, doctors, lawyers, poets. This was fun, but a second arrest in 1967 saw Tang personally tortured by Nguyễn Ngọc Loan (subject of the infamous Tet Offensive street execution picture) and confined in a dark, solitary cell for 6 months. When Tang was released in a high-level prisoner exchange with the Americans, he decamped to the jungle full time. As a guerrilla fighter, Tang survived earth-shattering B-52 strikes, starvation rations, and malaria, becoming Minister for Justice in the new Provisional Government of South Vietnam. Looking back, Tang saw his time with the guerrillas as one of the best of his life-part of a clear fight against American imperialism for the good of the Vietnamese people. But not all was well in the revolution: Northerners and hard-line Communists came to dominate the National Liberation Front. Once the war was over in 1975, Tang became Minister of Justice, but he was merely a rubber stamp for the Politburo. Perhaps the most tragic moment in a book full of tragedies is when Tang personally drove two of his brothers to their 'reeducation' camps. He expected they would be in for a 30-day seminar on Marxism and their own anti-revolutionary attitudes, similar to the one he had undergone in the jungle; an experience that was frustrating and aggravating in the extreme, but ultimately innoxious. Tang never saw his brothers again, and they along with hundreds of thousands of others, were imprisoned for years in reeducation camps. With arbitrary imprisonments and confiscations going on at all level by locust-like Northern Cadres, and the surviving Southern liberals locked out of power, Tang saw no future in Vietnam. With dozens of others, he boarded a boat and fled the country, ultimately becoming a refugee in Paris. A sad end for a dedicated patriot. The biography is wonderful, but Tang also writes well about the political strategy of the Revolution, as opposed to the military strategies adopted by the United States, South Vietnam, and ultimately the Communists. For Tang, every action had to be evaluated holistically; success was measured by having more allies at the end of the day than they had at the beginning. The goals were to demonstrate the moral rightness of the National Liberation Front as opposed to the corruption and brutality of the Government forces, and to separate the hardlines from potential allies. Peace activists and liberals were courted, the inflexible transformed into the open minded. The difference between Tang's means and ends and that of the Government side, which aimed for momentary military freedom of action even at cost of moral legitimacy or its alliances, is staggering. That America was not able to reach an accord with Tang and his comrades, and that they were ultimately betrayed by their Communist allies, is one of the greatest historical tragedies of a very tragic war.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    The tragedy of Viet Nam is on this side of the Pacific the story of American soldiers and Vietnamese refugees. Truong Nhu Tang has a different, and in many ways darker, perspective. This was a man who grew up under the French, met and was charmed by Ho Chi Minh, joined the struggle for independence and survived long enough to become Minister of Justice in the provisional government of South Vietnam, where he insisted on a new legal code. During the war, he lost years of freedom to prison and the The tragedy of Viet Nam is on this side of the Pacific the story of American soldiers and Vietnamese refugees. Truong Nhu Tang has a different, and in many ways darker, perspective. This was a man who grew up under the French, met and was charmed by Ho Chi Minh, joined the struggle for independence and survived long enough to become Minister of Justice in the provisional government of South Vietnam, where he insisted on a new legal code. During the war, he lost years of freedom to prison and the jungle, two marriages, his health, and, after it ended, his family, the country he had suffered for, the land of his ancestors. Faced with French colonialism, the American clumsiness that followed and a succession of brutal Southern governments, especially the vicious, paranoid Ngo Dinh Diem, Tang chose to organize the civilian opposition. He spent years preparing for a post-war South government in the belief, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, that the North would allow it to be broad-based, to have non-Party membership and influence. Ho comes across as a singular and compelling leader, with the kind of striking humility one finds in the greatest leaders, visiting guests instead of waiting for them in the Presidential palace--and yet he also found himself forced to apologize for a bloody land reform. At least he apologized. It is unclear whether the outcome would have been different had he lived to see the end of the war - or even if the Americans had not relieved the French as supporters of the ineffective Southern governments; Tang thought so. By the late sixties, the organization of the resistance in the South was in part a cover for the Party and by the 70s, the Northerners began to lecture Southerners who had left careers behind about class struggle. Tang makes clear how the Viet Cong worked to manipulate American opinion and even politics. Lining up the Paris Peace Talks alongside Viet Cong strategy, Tang argues that Le Duc Tho, a hard-liner, outmaneuvered Henry Kissinger. But it may have been inevitable at that stage; after all, the Vietnamese took the long view -- they were fighting for a country that had in fact enjoyed independence for more than a millennium before the French, periodically fighting off the Chinese who many Americans thought were their masters. (As Tang notes, the Vietnamese sided with the Russians in the Sino-Soviet split). In contrast, for the Nixon administration the war was a subplot of the re-election campaign -- hence its schizophrenic policy of Vietnamization and American troop withdrawal while bombing (and de-stabilizing, with horrific results) Cambodia and Laos. Tang even reports that the bombing was ineffective in its primary purpose of destroying roads -- the Vietnamese adapted with intelligence on bombing missions, strengthening their facilities, and developing teams to quickly re-route destroyed roads. Kissinger may very well have understood he had a losing hand - Tang quotes him as writing in 1968, "Guerrillas win if they don't lose. A standard army loses if it doesn't win." It may also be that neither people won that war; the fall of the South did not lead to reconciliation but instead to arrests and "re-education." Tang's eloquence stands by itself: the Vietnamese "had seen the great moment finally arrive-Peace-after thirty years of continuous violence and a hundred years of hated foreign domination. But peace, which they had so passionately desired, had brought with it not blessings but a new and even more insidious warfare, this time a warfare practiced by the liberators against their own people." Every war, even a successful one, is composed a large number of tragedies; one of those tragedies, for the Vietnamese, is that people of the vision and patriotism of Truong Nhu Tang saw no alternative but to cram themselves into a rickety boat in darkness and throw themselves to the mercy of the sea, its pirates, its monsoons, and its refugee camps.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    "My son, I simply cannot understand you. You have abandoned everything. A good family, happiness, wealth--to follow the Communists. They will never return to you a particle of the things you have left. You will see. They will betray you, and you will suffer your entire life." Truer words were never spoken. These were the words the author's father said the final time the two of them spoke to each other. His father was spot on. The author was played as a USEFUL IDIOT of the communists and then dumpe "My son, I simply cannot understand you. You have abandoned everything. A good family, happiness, wealth--to follow the Communists. They will never return to you a particle of the things you have left. You will see. They will betray you, and you will suffer your entire life." Truer words were never spoken. These were the words the author's father said the final time the two of them spoke to each other. His father was spot on. The author was played as a USEFUL IDIOT of the communists and then dumped when his usefulness had expired, while all along he thought he was getting some usefulness from the Party and that their help was altruistic. He truly believed that they genuinely sought a free, democratic south. Sounds pretty darn gullible. But that's how the always underhanded communists work. And they are repeating the very same M.O. today in America where the masses are being taken in just as this author had. Led down the garden path by smiling faces saying "Yes we can!" and "Si, se puede!" It's the old bait and switch. They seduce the people with visions of liberation then crush them with oppression much worse than any so-called neo-colonial, imperialistic, capitalist country ever had. And at the same time they foment and instill so much hatred against "the enemy" (USA) that they're unable to see the insidious enemy right under their noses. So this freedom fighter author fought the oppressive French. Then he lived in the jungles fighting the even more despised Americans. In the end he fled his beloved Viet Nam and went to live, where? In the God awful Western country of the French because communists had turned South Viet Nam into a Soviet, one-people desolation. So much for unification, eh? Even so, the author's ingrained hatred of America still celebrates the fall of Saigon as a victory against America! I call that cutting off your nose to spite your face. But, yes I am an American. Altho it is not the author's intent, this memoir is an excellent historic view into how the lying, propagandizing, socialist, Progressive insurgents operate. If only the zombies would read this and be able to understand that this is the blueprint of soviet rule of the U.S. & the world today. A bleak future, rapidly approaching. While I came away with very negative impressions toward this Uncle Ho worshiping, U.S. bashing, blind to his own race's devises, ambivalent communist revolutionary, the info given here makes this a powerfully valuable read. I'd caution readers to take with several grains of salt his insistence that his bunch always had the U.S. government's next move figured out in advance And always came out on top because of their faultless prescience re loser Americans. Just a little prejudiced with this claim throughout the entire book. I imagine to this very day Truong Nhu Tang is proselytizing how evil America is. Highly recommended, extremely relevant read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carina

    This is the fifth book I have read now on the Vietnam War, and it is certainly the least 'war' orientated and the most politically orientated of the lot. The first book I read on this subject was back in 2014 - Nam: The Vietnam War in the Words of the Men and Women Who Fought There. I rated that book as 4 stars, and said it reinforced the little I knew of that war - that it was not at all popular in the US. I did learn that the reasons for the war were related to preventing the "spread of commun This is the fifth book I have read now on the Vietnam War, and it is certainly the least 'war' orientated and the most politically orientated of the lot. The first book I read on this subject was back in 2014 - Nam: The Vietnam War in the Words of the Men and Women Who Fought There. I rated that book as 4 stars, and said it reinforced the little I knew of that war - that it was not at all popular in the US. I did learn that the reasons for the war were related to preventing the "spread of communism" and suggested that there was also some element of commercialism going on. In 2015 I followed up on this burgeoning interest, with We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young. A 5 star read, this book focussed on one element during the Vietnam War - the battle at the Ia Drang Valley. Although this book had a touch of political elements, and how they effected the front line American soldiers that took part, the focus here was the bravery of the soldiers at Ia Drang. I did learn though, that despite this commonly being known as The Vietnam War - it technically wasn't a war because it wasn't announced as such... I still roll my eyes at that. In 2016, I read Steel My Soldiers' Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, Vietnam - the most politically charged of the books on this I had read so far and the lowest rated at 3 stars. Again, this was the political viewpoint of an American military man - the reasons behind the war were not a consideration. Hackworth was there to do his job and keep his men safe - the politics of why he was there in the first place weren't a concern. The politics that kept them there, that dictated their actions whilst there - that was his concern. In 2017 I broke with tradition and have ended up reading two books on the war in Vietnam. In February/March I read The Green Berets: The Amazing Story of the U.S. Army's Elite Special Forces Unit - another 5 star book that seems to blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction. Once again though, this book tells us the American viewpoint. A VietCong Memoir then, is the first book I have read on this subject that approaches it from the viewpoint of the people who lived there, and is the most politically motivated book of them all. For somone not overly interested in politics the fact this has garnered 4 stars from me is interesting. From the previous books I had read, and films/TV shows I had seen, I knew some of the opinions of the US soldiers on the ground, I knew of the tactics employed by the VietCong, I had a decent, albeit basic, understanding of the opinion of the US public, and a hazy idea of why the US were involved in the first place. What a VietCong Memoir has done for me is advance my overall understanding of the politics of the war... and to summarise (and I am getting very basic here) from what I can tell - the French left Vietnam (I also never knew that Vietnam was a French colony...), the country was seemingly arbitrarily separated in two (based on outside interests - this reminded me a little of the British leaving India and how they annexed the country to create Pakistan for their own gain) leading to a civil war amongst some factions to re-unite the country. The US got involved because they didn't like communism, and they felt that South Vietnam was key to their policies in that part of the world. As I said, undoubtedly a very simplistic interpretation of a complicated situation - but... does it strike anyone else as someone sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong? Anyway, US policies aside, this book is fascinating to see the daily lives of the Vietnamese, the class structure that was in place (I think most adaptations seem to concentrate on the poorest people only...), the reasons why the VietCong fought so fiercely... Yes at times I was a bit bored with the information coming my way, but overall I felt it difficult to put this down - especially in the latter sections. I did find it interesting how little the actual fighting was mentioned. The Tet Offensive was brought up, as well as various bombings, but on the whole for someone who had no idea when the Vietnam War (exactly) took place I found it quite surprising all of the maneuvering (both political and physical) that took place. For example - the battle at Ia Drang as described in We Were Soldiers, took place in November 1965 - as far as I can tell, during that time Truong Nhu Tang was rallying support as a member of the Young People's Association - something I thought he was doing during the preliminary stages of the war before it had gotten particularly... vicious. Clearly not... There weren't many parts of this book that I wanted to especially call out, but there were a few. On page 167, during the chapter on Life as a Maquis, Truong points out that during the Vietnam War more bombs were dropped over Vietnam than were ever dropped throughout all of WW2... In ONE country... it blows my mind, it really does. On Page 174 a poem by General Tran Van Tra is copied - part of it resonated with me: "Each achievement of each human being, is the achievement of all. If you have accomplished something it is due to the help of others" - it is rather communist I admit, but I like the reasoning behind it. On Page 211 we are told that an American negotiator says that the Vietnamese never defeated the Americans on the battlefield - the Vietnamese negotiator responds "that may be so... but it is also irrelevant". I felt like this summed up what I have read about these past few years. I think that if you are interested in the Vietnam war as a whole, then this is a book you'll enjoy. For those who are more interested in the feats of heroism this won't be for you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John Woltjer

    I was a History teacher at a Jesuit school for 16 years, and my primary subject area was US History, mostly at the AP level. I have read many books and seen many documentaries about the war, and am firmly on the side that believes that the war was a massive mistake, undertaken under false pretenses. The context was, of course, the period of US paranoia about Communist expansion and Viet Nam, a long suffering country that had experienced 1100 years of colonialism under China and then France. and I was a History teacher at a Jesuit school for 16 years, and my primary subject area was US History, mostly at the AP level. I have read many books and seen many documentaries about the war, and am firmly on the side that believes that the war was a massive mistake, undertaken under false pretenses. The context was, of course, the period of US paranoia about Communist expansion and Viet Nam, a long suffering country that had experienced 1100 years of colonialism under China and then France. and tragically became a pawn in the global ideological battle between a capitalist democracy and soviet communism with incalculably devastating consequences for the people of that country. Other than broad brush history books, I have read In Retrospect, by McNamara, his mea culpa for contributing to what he had come to the reasoned judgment was an unnecessary, and ill-advised war. I also showed the documentary, Hearts and Minds to many students and some of the images from that devastatingly powerful documentary are burned into my memory. My sense of the war is of the US as huge, lumbering, clumsy and angry giant, stomping this tiny country in an attempt to teach it a lesson for failing to conform itself to what we wanted to keep it from becoming. I had the opportunity to see Walt Rostow in the 1990's at Trinity University in San Antonio. He discussed the important wars of the 20th century, and oddly, left out Viet Nam. I asked him what his view was of the war, and he said that the war turned out to be a good thing, because while attention was focused there, it gave the US time to help establish SEATO, a bastion against Communist expansion in the region. An amazing response for a war that had such horrific consequences for Vietnam. And then, this book was recommended to me by a friend. It is, without a doubt, the most informative, fascinating and enlightening treatise I have ever read or seen on the conflict. And it was so because it was told entirely by someone from the inside of the conflict--a French educated, highly articulate Nationalist from South Vietnam who wanted nothing but to see his country become the master of its own destiny. We have become so reflexively conditioned to see this war as ultimately an attempt to prevent another "domino" from falling in the world, We were so propagandized to see Communism as an evil, rapacious force in the world that, were it not for an American commitment to meet it whenever and wherever it popped up around the world, would take over and dominate the entire globe. And the ideological terms that we saw the war in were so pervasive in our consciousness, that we were absolutely incapable of seeing any of the subtlety, nuance, and indigenous forces at work that were fundamentally part of the basic human spirit--the simple desire to be free and to be in control of ones own national destiny. Truong absolutely obliterates the entire rationale for the war, and ultimately makes it crystal clear that America's actions in the war ultimately and ironically created exactly what it had was fighting to prevent. Sun Tzu counsels in, The Art of War--a book considered to this day to be a masterpiece--that if war does occur, it is essential to "know your enemy." Here, on page 209 of the book is Truong's assessment of the failure of American policy in Viet Nam: "In looking back at this period [peace talks between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho] and at the negotiations that flowed out of it, some writers have taken pains to denigrate Henry Kissinger's abilities. If the purpose of observing history is to learn from it, such exercises are not only nonsensical, but dangerously misleading. The flaw in Kissinger's thinking was in fact hardly personal. In considering the problem of Vietnam, he had inherited a conceptual framework from his Amierican and French predecessors that he either could not or would not break out of. And it was this conceptual framework that led him to disaster. Along with their forbears, both Nixon and Kissinger suffered from a fundamental inability to enter into the mental world of their enemy and so to formulate policies that would effectively frustrate the strategies arrayed against the strategies of a people's war." "You know," said an American negotiator to his North Vietnamese counterpart in Hanoi, "you never defeated us on the battlefield." "That may be so," came the answer, "but it is also irrelevant." This book, so brilliantly and engagingly written changes the fundamental viewpoint from the outside looking in to the inside looking out. It shows how, had America been true to its own founding principles, and capable of seeing beyond its irrational hatred of Communism (not a benign force in the world for sure, but certainly a fundamentally flawed system that contained the seeds of its own ultimate collapse) we could have seen the essentially nationalistic nature of the South Vietnamese forces pushing for independence, and resistance to American involvement not an attempt to establish Russian or Chinese style Communist dictatorship. In fact, Southern Nationalists were very wary of the most ardent of North Vietnamese communist ideologues, and even up to the very last months of US presence in the country were hoping for a coalition government that would allow them to share a government with other major interest groups that could then hammer out their own form of government that reflected the interests of all Vietnamese people. This book is a must read for anyone with an abiding interest in understanding why Vietnam ended up being such a disaster for the United States. Truong and his coauthors have written an utterly engaging and brilliant book. Highest possible recommendation for this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    An excellent look at the Vietcong (VC), National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF), Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG), and Central Office South Vietnam communist headquarters (COSVN). Truong Nhu Tang would learn the five precepts of Confucian ethics from his grandfather: nhon, nghia, le, tri, tin (benevolence, duty, propriety, conscience, and faithfulness). The two unshakable necessities were protection of the family's honor and loyalty to the nation. His early goals in the war sh An excellent look at the Vietcong (VC), National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF), Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG), and Central Office South Vietnam communist headquarters (COSVN). Truong Nhu Tang would learn the five precepts of Confucian ethics from his grandfather: nhon, nghia, le, tri, tin (benevolence, duty, propriety, conscience, and faithfulness). The two unshakable necessities were protection of the family's honor and loyalty to the nation. His early goals in the war show to me a complete naivete. For example, they wanted "to establish a pluralistic national government, nonaligned and neutral" and "to unify the North and South on the basis of mutual interest through negotiations, without war." In 1965, as Marines landed in Danang, the popular poetess Nguyen Ngoc Suong was arrested in a crackdown of peace activists. She was compared to the legendary Chinese general Truong Luong, who had sapped the will of his enemy by playing the flute to them before battle. General Tran Van Tra was a rebel leader and a poet. Here are a few lines from a poem of his: Each achievement of each human being Is the achievement of all. If you have accomplished something It is due to the help of others. We eat the fruit. But we must honor Those who planted the tree. Tra was writing a history of war. Five volumes were projected, but only one was finished. Because he praised the wartime sacrifices of the Southern people, his volume was confiscated and he disappeared from public view. At the Paris peace talks, Le Duc Tho treated Henry Kissinger to a brilliant display of "talking and fighting." For example, he made an "anyone but Thieu" which really meant nothing. But it got people talking about that nothing while fighting went on. The idea of "reconciliation and concord" was not in favor by all of the North. That included people who worked for the "puppets." The desire to settle scores was apparent. By committing to an anti-communist South Vietnam, Kissinger lost everything. Tang, the author, believes a neutralist regime could have survived. I think that is utter bunk. The ideologues took over for the North. Tran Bach Dang was a great leader for the PRG. He made one critical comment about the "workers' movement" and trouble starts for him. The humiliation began and he lost any power he had. On March 21 of 1975, the rout began. Thieu tried to move all soldiers to the coast. Highway was then cut off. In four days, both Hue and Danang had fallen. Half a million refugees fled for their lives. Some drowned trying desperately to escape. On April 28, 1975, Duong Van "Big" Minh ordered all Saigon soldiers to put down their arms to avoid a bloodbath. I will always remember an ARVN colonel who went up to the statue of an ARVN soldier, saluted, and shot himself in the head. The author's daughter was treated badly simply because she knew Thieu's daughter. In the victory parade, the Viet Cong were almost ignored. The North did not want any democratic influences in the government. The author writes a bit about reeducation camps. Arbitrary arrests and kidnappings took place. Some 300,000 people were arrested. None returned that year. It is difficult to know what happened to them. The author would eventually escape with the "boat people."' He went into exile in France.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nguyen Tung

    An extraordinary autobiography carried out by a man who had deeply indulged himself in the cadres of Southern Nationalists. This autobiography is one of the must-reads to anyone who feels a need to embark on the journey of rediscovering the Vietnam War, as there would be hardly writer on the war who would be in the same situation as Tang. I would like to jot down my review in Vietnamese as I believe this book have been written primarily for the Vietnamese people. Đây là một cuốn sách quý giá được An extraordinary autobiography carried out by a man who had deeply indulged himself in the cadres of Southern Nationalists. This autobiography is one of the must-reads to anyone who feels a need to embark on the journey of rediscovering the Vietnam War, as there would be hardly writer on the war who would be in the same situation as Tang. I would like to jot down my review in Vietnamese as I believe this book have been written primarily for the Vietnamese people. Đây là một cuốn sách quý giá được viết bởi một nhân vật trực tiếp tham gia vào phong trào dân chủ của những "lực lượng thứ ba" (NLF, PRG) dẫn tới kết quả là sự kiện tháng 4 năm 1975 ở miền Nam Việt Nam. Cuốn sách có thể đóng vai trò như một niên biểu về các giai đoạn trong thời kỳ chiến tranh Việt Nam, nhưng giá trị của nó nằm ở những thông tin cũng như quan điểm mà ông Tảng chia sẻ trong cuốn sách, nhờ vào vị trí đặc biệt của mình trong cuộc chiến tranh. Tôi đặc biệt thích chương viết về Albert Phạm Ngọc Thảo, nếu không đọc cuốn sách này thì tôi (và có lẽ hầu hết mọi người) chỉ biết tới một điệp viên là Phạm Xuân Ẩn thôi, và càng không biết đến ông Thảo như một nhân tố gây ảnh hưởng rất lớn tới sự cáo chung của nền Đệ Nhất Cộng hoà vào năm 1963. Cũng như tôi thích những chương cuối cùng của cuốn sách, khi ông Tảng viết về cảm giác của ông cũng như những cộng sự của mình trong PRG về những điều mắt thấy tai nghe và những sự kiện xảy ra từ sau khi Hiệp định Paris được ký kết, cho đến 2 năm sau Mùa hè đỏ lửa năm 1975 - thời gian chính quyền Bắc Việt bắt đầu kiểm soát và điều hành những di sản để lại từ nền Cộng hoà. Mặc dù một cuốn hồi ký sẽ luôn khó tránh khỏi những chi tiết chủ quan, nhưng tôi tin rằng những điều ông Tảng viết về trải nghiệm của mình sẽ là những thông tin quý giá cho lịch sử về sau. Ôn cố tri tân, đọc chuyện xưa để biết chuyện nay. "Con trai, ba không thể hiểu nổi con. Con đã vứt bỏ mọi thứ. Một gia đình êm ấm, hạnh phúc, giàu có - để theo chân bọn Cộng sản. Chúng sẽ không trả lại cho con một cắc nào con đã bỏ lại đâu. Rồi con sẽ thấy. Chúng sẽ phản bội con, và con sẽ đau khổ suốt cuộc đời" - là lời ba ông Tảng nói với ông lúc vào thăm con trong tù.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Steve Woods

    Availability has dictated that most of the material I have read is based on the American experience, most of that from Vietnamese sources lacks balance, this work however provides a detailed and gripping account of the war from the NLF point of view. It discusses the consequences of all the major turning points in the war from that position. This book is essential reading for anyone with an abiding interest in the conflict, without considering what this author raises is his account no clear unde Availability has dictated that most of the material I have read is based on the American experience, most of that from Vietnamese sources lacks balance, this work however provides a detailed and gripping account of the war from the NLF point of view. It discusses the consequences of all the major turning points in the war from that position. This book is essential reading for anyone with an abiding interest in the conflict, without considering what this author raises is his account no clear understanding can possibly be gained. The two major points that came out of the book for me were firstly a confirmation of the ignorance and stupidity of American decision makers throughout the whole process. They never understood their enemy and who consistently ran rings around them all, despite the fact of losing most tactical engagements in the filed to US/ARVN forces. The second was the assumption of power by the ideologues in Hanoi after Ho Chi Minh's death and the consequent humanitarian disaster that ensued after the victory in April 1975. How much could have been saved if the Americans considered the prospect of a settlement in Vietnam similar to the arrangements agreed around Tito and Yugoslavia? Their hubris still reigns supreme, they went on to make the same mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan in this century.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Steece, Jr.

    Not just a powerful memoir, this small book is also a well-told history of the Wars in Vietnam during the middle part of the last century. His treatment of the Diem period, the establishment of the NLF (considering his primary role in it), and particularly the post-War reconstruction—with its accompanying depression & disillusionment—are especially illuminating. I often wonder what the "perfect" introductory text to the Wars and their context, and I believe it would be hard to find a better exam Not just a powerful memoir, this small book is also a well-told history of the Wars in Vietnam during the middle part of the last century. His treatment of the Diem period, the establishment of the NLF (considering his primary role in it), and particularly the post-War reconstruction—with its accompanying depression & disillusionment—are especially illuminating. I often wonder what the "perfect" introductory text to the Wars and their context, and I believe it would be hard to find a better example than Mr. Tang's.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vasil Kolev

    One of the many books that shows how much communism, the whole cold war and related events screwed up people and peoples.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Sprecker

    “To be Japanese in Japan is wise, neh?” Very wise indeed, but for a Westerner to be Japanese, he must first become Japanese, a difficult and confounding experience thrust upon Captain John Blackthorne following his crash landing on the Japanese coast at Anjiro, where he quickly finds himself sucked into the culture and the power politics of feudal Japan. The first of James Clavell’s Asian Saga, Shogun is an historical novel that tells the story of the rise of Japanese daimyo Toronaga (based on T “To be Japanese in Japan is wise, neh?” Very wise indeed, but for a Westerner to be Japanese, he must first become Japanese, a difficult and confounding experience thrust upon Captain John Blackthorne following his crash landing on the Japanese coast at Anjiro, where he quickly finds himself sucked into the culture and the power politics of feudal Japan. The first of James Clavell’s Asian Saga, Shogun is an historical novel that tells the story of the rise of Japanese daimyo Toronaga (based on Tokugawa Ieyasu) to the shogunate as seen through the eyes of John Blackthorne (based on William Adams), offering a fictionalized version of events preceding the Battle of Sekigahara. Blackthorne arrives at a precarious time. Japan is ruled by the Council of Reagents until the heir to the Taiko (Reagent) is of age. The Catholic Church (through the Order of the Jesuits) and the Portuguese have established footholds in Japan. The English and Netherlands wish to usurp Portuguese trading routes, and powerful forces inside Japan wish to expel all foreign influence. With his knowledge of Western naval and military practices, Blackthorne becomes an important part of the calculus as an asset to some, a liability to others, and an unknown variable to a great many. Offering an historical overview of Japanese society and politics, Shogun is a careful study of Japan and Japanese culture. Through Blackthorne and his interactions with people of every social stratification - from criminals and laborers to daimyos and reagents - Clavell explores the many nuances of caste and class in feudal Japan and samurai culture, a paradoxical culture to many outsiders in which there is only honor in obedience or success, never in disobedience or failure, ambition must never be admitted to, and karma governs all. The time period notwithstanding, this is a wonderful introduction to a country that remains nearly as insular to this day.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Turner

    Truong Nhu Tang. A dedicated Viet Cong and devout communist. He didn't know me. I didn't know him. But we had a common mission. He wanted to kill me. Or, at least, he wanted me and my warrior Brothers out of Vietnam. Me and my warrior Brothers wanted to kill Truong. Or, at least, we wanted him out of South Vietnam. We both wanted unity and freedom for the people of South Vietnam. After my 14-month tour of combat, I was able to return to The World and resume my life. Truong stayed to continue his Truong Nhu Tang. A dedicated Viet Cong and devout communist. He didn't know me. I didn't know him. But we had a common mission. He wanted to kill me. Or, at least, he wanted me and my warrior Brothers out of Vietnam. Me and my warrior Brothers wanted to kill Truong. Or, at least, we wanted him out of South Vietnam. We both wanted unity and freedom for the people of South Vietnam. After my 14-month tour of combat, I was able to return to The World and resume my life. Truong stayed to continue his struggle, one that he had endured for nearly 30 years. Coming from a large well-do-do family in Saigon, Truong was educated in France, where his father planned for him to study to be a pharmacist. His father had great and future plans for all of his sons. But, in France, Truong met many Vietnamese dissidents who were dedicated to a Vietnam free of colonial imperialism, including Ho Chi Minh, a man affectionately known as Uncle. Truong was dissuaded and changed his studies to politics, in direct conflict to his father's wishes and plans. His father died without their reconciliation. Truong rose in the political ranks, favorably recognized by both Uncle Ho and the communist leaders in Hanoi, ultimately becoming Minister of Justice and a leader in the NLF, living in the jungles with his Viet Cong comrades. This is his story, the story of his struggle and the ultimate disillusionment with the Northern "party."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Cameron

    Having read many books on the subject I felt obliged to have a look from the other side. After reading, what sticks in my mind is the tremendous hardship suffered by the Vietnamese, and how their hopes and dreams of independance and ensuing freedom were bitterly betrayed. Truong Nhu Tang comes from a wealthy background, something I find hard to relate to. It would have been easy for this man to keep his head down and cash in on his status and education. However while appearing to do so he is highly Having read many books on the subject I felt obliged to have a look from the other side. After reading, what sticks in my mind is the tremendous hardship suffered by the Vietnamese, and how their hopes and dreams of independance and ensuing freedom were bitterly betrayed. Truong Nhu Tang comes from a wealthy background, something I find hard to relate to. It would have been easy for this man to keep his head down and cash in on his status and education. However while appearing to do so he is highly active in the inteligentia wing of the Viet Cong and risks his life many times for the cause. Gradually I found myself warming to Nhu Tang and the VC. Don't get me wrong I have a large family living in the U.S.A. This book however really opened my eyes to the brutal reality of Vietnam and has even caused some friction when discussed with my stateside relatives. Ever wondered how it would be on the receiving end of a B52 bomb raid, or to be tortured for your beliefs by your own people? Nhu Tang tells his tale with inteligence and honesty and you can't help but feel for his ideals and his nation. The true sufferers of any war are always the innocent and there were many innocent on both sides. For me this book underlines the futility of the entire conflict and desperate waste of humanity.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ensiform

    The author is the former Minister of Justice for the Provisional Revolutionary Government in South Vietnam. This is a very intriguing book, just what its title says. In this memoir, Truong explains how revolutionary idealism came upon him despite his privileged background; the trials he experienced as a prisoner of the South Vietnamese; his life in the jungle during US bombardment; and the final victory. Then he describes how this victory crumbled, as his nationalistic ideals were pushed aside i The author is the former Minister of Justice for the Provisional Revolutionary Government in South Vietnam. This is a very intriguing book, just what its title says. In this memoir, Truong explains how revolutionary idealism came upon him despite his privileged background; the trials he experienced as a prisoner of the South Vietnamese; his life in the jungle during US bombardment; and the final victory. Then he describes how this victory crumbled, as his nationalistic ideals were pushed aside in the brutal Northern socialist campaign for the south, and how he escaped by boat. The style is good, although the historical events are not laid out chronologically, which is a bit disorienting. As for content, there are many points at which he claims Vietnamese intelligence had pinpointed how the war with the US was going and how it would continue. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20. (I take the text at face value, knowing that all manner of whitewashing and obfuscation may be at work.) He also contradicts himself a few times. Overall, though, it’s a reasonable account, very intriguing and highly readable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gray

    From the title I thought this would be a memoir by a Viet Cong soldier, but quickly found out in the Foreword that this would not be about the military side of the insurgency. Since "Viet Cong" in this country is understood to mean the pro-Communist fighting forces, I surmise the chosen title was a bit of a marketing ploy. Nonetheless, this book is enlightening as to the political evolution and activities not only of the writer, Truong Nhu Tang, but all South Vietnamese nationalists. As American From the title I thought this would be a memoir by a Viet Cong soldier, but quickly found out in the Foreword that this would not be about the military side of the insurgency. Since "Viet Cong" in this country is understood to mean the pro-Communist fighting forces, I surmise the chosen title was a bit of a marketing ploy. Nonetheless, this book is enlightening as to the political evolution and activities not only of the writer, Truong Nhu Tang, but all South Vietnamese nationalists. As Americans we are obsessed with the military side of their struggle and know little to nothing about the political groups that sought to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese. I certainly have been one of those Americans. I also knew nothing about what happened after the American withdrawal. The book recounts the betrayal felt by the nationalists as the North Vietnamese Communist ideologues--no longer led by Ho Chi Minh--took control of the South. This is a valuable book for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the background of the South Vietnamese resistance.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Licia Flynn

    Truong Nhu Tang's A Vietcong Memoir is an easy read IF you're familiar with Vietnam's lengthy colonial history. Prior to reading A Vietcong Memoir, I read several books on Vietnam: The Pentagon Papers, The Sacred Willow (Four Generations in the Life of Vietnamese Family), and a history book that began in the 5th Century. The history book was particularly important because it chronicled Vietnam's constant battle with invaders: the Spanish, the French, the Chinese, the Japanese, the French again, an Truong Nhu Tang's A Vietcong Memoir is an easy read IF you're familiar with Vietnam's lengthy colonial history. Prior to reading A Vietcong Memoir, I read several books on Vietnam: The Pentagon Papers, The Sacred Willow (Four Generations in the Life of Vietnamese Family), and a history book that began in the 5th Century. The history book was particularly important because it chronicled Vietnam's constant battle with invaders: the Spanish, the French, the Chinese, the Japanese, the French again, and the Americans. The aforementioned books help illuminate Tang's work. Vietcong Memoir is gripping because it depicts an elite part of the communist party by an individual who was born into wealth and educated at the Sorbonne in France, but chose to leave his corporate position to fight against his own people. I think too many readers focus on the effects of the Vietnam War (Marxism), as opposed to the cause. After all -- Would communism have occurred if Vietnam had been left alone?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Loveless

    The book is the story of how a young Vietnamese man joined the Vietcong. In the book he paints a sympathetic picture of why he supported North Vietnam’s efforts to reunify the country. He was disgusted by the Diem government and impressed by Ho Chi Minh. His study of political theory in France also convinced him that capitalism was imperialist and his people should be free. He goes into great detail about the organization of the opposition to the South Vietnamese government. In the end he descri The book is the story of how a young Vietnamese man joined the Vietcong. In the book he paints a sympathetic picture of why he supported North Vietnam’s efforts to reunify the country. He was disgusted by the Diem government and impressed by Ho Chi Minh. His study of political theory in France also convinced him that capitalism was imperialist and his people should be free. He goes into great detail about the organization of the opposition to the South Vietnamese government. In the end he describes his disillusionment over the dominance of the North over the South. I enjoyed the book for its through the looking glass view of the war. It is easy to see why the Vietcong fought. There is also a kind of Animal Farm quality to the book as success doesn’t look like he expected.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Powers

    This was an incredibly interesting book. Though not as immersive as Philip Caputo's memoir of his time as a marine, "A Vietcong Memoir" is still undoubtedly a very in-depth and relatable account of a member of the Vietcong in Southern Vietnam and the struggles he went through. I learned much about the mindset of the Vietcong and all the nationalist movements fighting for Vietnam's independence from outside influences, whether perceived as imperialist or otherwise. I ripped through this book in tw This was an incredibly interesting book. Though not as immersive as Philip Caputo's memoir of his time as a marine, "A Vietcong Memoir" is still undoubtedly a very in-depth and relatable account of a member of the Vietcong in Southern Vietnam and the struggles he went through. I learned much about the mindset of the Vietcong and all the nationalist movements fighting for Vietnam's independence from outside influences, whether perceived as imperialist or otherwise. I ripped through this book in two days, and though that was largely in part to my limited timetable and the necessity of a quick read-through, I did not really dread reading this book as I have with some books for school. It was incredibly interesting and engaged me all the way through.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    A very interesting book from a perspective that's lacking in a lot of literature about the Vietnam war. The author was a political operative not a fighter , so the book focuses more on that side of things, but there are a lot of detailed accounts of the Ho Chi Minh trail, surviving US bombing, and living under the corrupt South Vietnamese regime. The author ultimately got disillusioned with communist rule and fled Vietnam, and I was unaware of the conflicts that existed between more ideological A very interesting book from a perspective that's lacking in a lot of literature about the Vietnam war. The author was a political operative not a fighter , so the book focuses more on that side of things, but there are a lot of detailed accounts of the Ho Chi Minh trail, surviving US bombing, and living under the corrupt South Vietnamese regime. The author ultimately got disillusioned with communist rule and fled Vietnam, and I was unaware of the conflicts that existed between more ideological north Vietnamese fighters and more generally nationalist south Vietnamese. Excellently written but the narrative is skewed by the author's personal opinions, which is worth noting if you're looking for a more straightforward history rather than a personal memoir.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This was enlightening, to say the least. It was fascinating to learn how the Vietcong felt they won the war because of their domestic propaganda campaign in the West. It also wasn't a surprise to hear the bitter story of betrayal when the country was unified and all hope of democracy was squashed by the Communists. It was good to know that Americans and Vietcong didn't die for nothing. If the Americans really had been perfect and the Communists taking over with prosperity and kindness, people wo This was enlightening, to say the least. It was fascinating to learn how the Vietcong felt they won the war because of their domestic propaganda campaign in the West. It also wasn't a surprise to hear the bitter story of betrayal when the country was unified and all hope of democracy was squashed by the Communists. It was good to know that Americans and Vietcong didn't die for nothing. If the Americans really had been perfect and the Communists taking over with prosperity and kindness, people would have died in vain.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kent Carpenter

    Read this for class. Fascinating to see the distinction between Vietnamese Nationalism and Communist fervor. As is portrayed in the memoir, those two ideas did not necessarily go hand in hand. Overall, a poignant insight into the Vietnamese side of the struggle for self-determination. Yet they would find a North Vietnamese Communist party able to consummate power and show an unwillingness to reconcile with Southern Vietnamese who initially felt they had reason to celebrate their newfound indepen Read this for class. Fascinating to see the distinction between Vietnamese Nationalism and Communist fervor. As is portrayed in the memoir, those two ideas did not necessarily go hand in hand. Overall, a poignant insight into the Vietnamese side of the struggle for self-determination. Yet they would find a North Vietnamese Communist party able to consummate power and show an unwillingness to reconcile with Southern Vietnamese who initially felt they had reason to celebrate their newfound independence.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth/Chuck

    First account of the war I've seen that was written by the other side. Interesting the learn the differences between the Viet Cong & North Vietnamese groups that were fighting against us. Viet Cong were not all ardent Communists, in fact very few were. The reader is able to see the shift in Viet Cong support for the North to realizing the South's objective of a Nationalist government was not what their allies from the North had in mind. First account of the war I've seen that was written by the other side. Interesting the learn the differences between the Viet Cong & North Vietnamese groups that were fighting against us. Viet Cong were not all ardent Communists, in fact very few were. The reader is able to see the shift in Viet Cong support for the North to realizing the South's objective of a Nationalist government was not what their allies from the North had in mind.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    I can't say that this book was thrilling, and it definitely lulled me to sleep several times during reading... but it was interesting and honest. I read this novel because my Vietnam war history class required it, and it was definitely a nice complement to the class because it gave a non-American viewpoint towards the war. Learning that the Vietcong weren't all communists, for instance, was really interesting. I also had no idea that southern Vietnam used torture methods on prisoners. I can't say that this book was thrilling, and it definitely lulled me to sleep several times during reading... but it was interesting and honest. I read this novel because my Vietnam war history class required it, and it was definitely a nice complement to the class because it gave a non-American viewpoint towards the war. Learning that the Vietcong weren't all communists, for instance, was really interesting. I also had no idea that southern Vietnam used torture methods on prisoners.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarina Rose

    Interesting and informative view of the Vietnam War. Heart-wrenching and real in an autobiography of the Vietcong's Minister of Justice. It is wonderfully written. It not only exposes why and how the U.S. failed but his final personal decision. I read this book as background material for my own book about love and romance during the war. A Vietcong Memoir was remarkable personal eye view into a who eventually Interesting and informative view of the Vietnam War. Heart-wrenching and real in an autobiography of the Vietcong's Minister of Justice. It is wonderfully written. It not only exposes why and how the U.S. failed but his final personal decision. I read this book as background material for my own book about love and romance during the war. A Vietcong Memoir was remarkable personal eye view into a who eventually

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike Harper

    This is well written, if a little self-aggrandizing. If you are interested - really interested - in the Vietnamese nationalists and their wars against the French and the Americans and their puppets, this is a must. It checks out: the personal journey described here is entirely consistent with the history of the conflict after WWII.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erik Ryberg

    Well worth the read for opposing Vietnamese perspective, but not communist, to the Vietnam War for those of us who tend to get American perspectives. Interesting sections are when they are operating in Cambodia and then the "betrayal" as the revolution as it is co-opted by the communists who, in the author's perspective, give up on Ho Chi Minh's principles. Well worth the read for opposing Vietnamese perspective, but not communist, to the Vietnam War for those of us who tend to get American perspectives. Interesting sections are when they are operating in Cambodia and then the "betrayal" as the revolution as it is co-opted by the communists who, in the author's perspective, give up on Ho Chi Minh's principles.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    Written by a top member of the PAVN who later fled the country after the NVA victory. Interesting narrative history of VC life in the field, but eventually ends up sounding kindof like an endorsement of American policy. That said, I need to re-read it and re-evaluate it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hunter Marston

    A very interesting account from a revolutionary nationalist that is equally compelling for its anti-American/Sai Gon'ism as its critical split from the Communist hardliners that hijacked the Vietnamese revolution. A very interesting account from a revolutionary nationalist that is equally compelling for its anti-American/Sai Gon'ism as its critical split from the Communist hardliners that hijacked the Vietnamese revolution.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Profoundly interesting and smoothly written personal history of the US-Vietnam war, by a privileged, highly-placed activist operating for the South. He explains how and why we were defeated, and how the Southern activists were in turn defeated by the Stalinist-type treachery of the North.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.