|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Edition description:||1st ed|
About the Author
Truong Nhu Tang, a founder of the National Liberation Front and Minister of Justice in the Vietcong's Provisional Revolutionary Government, was one of the most determined adversaries of the United States during the war. Living a double, at times a triple, life in Saigon, he was a high-level economics official for the South Vietnamese government who simultaneously worked as one of the revolution's most effective urban organizers. Captured and tortured by the Thieu police, in 1968 he was traded in a secret U.S.-Viet Cong prisoner exchange and spent the rest of the war in the resistance strongholds on the Cambodian border.
A revolutionary for almost thirty years, after liberation Tang fought a losing battle on behalf of the policy of national reconciliation and concord which he had helped design. In the end, profoundly disillusioned by the massive political repression and economic chaos the new government brought with it, he carried out a dramatic escape by boat to a U.N. refugee camp in the South China Sea. He now lives in exile in Paris, France.
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Excerpted from "A Vietcong Memoir"
Copyright © 1986 Truong Nhu Tang.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An often unseen perspective of the Vietnam War. To little has been written from the Vietnamese point of view (at least in English) and this book fills a gap in the picture of the second Indochina war. The author was a non-communist member of the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) and Justice Minister to the Provisional Revolutionary Government. The fact that there were non-communist members of the Viet Cong and its political wing may come as surprise to some American readers. This book provides fills in subtle details on the NLF movement that run contrary to the American notion of the Viet Cong as an entirely communist and Northern led force. This book may not be as exciting as a book written by an American grunt, because the struggle is political rather than military, but for those with more than a superficial interest in the war I would recommend it.
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.