April 30 marked the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. While many Americans believe that the decision to pursue this war was one of the worst foreign policy disasters in U.S. history, the anniversary has sparked renewed interest among our readers. Here are a few books to ask for:
Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-1975 by George J. Veith.
Veith, a former Army Captain, explores the concluding weeks, from the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 to South Vietnam’s surrender on April 30, 1975. This book is based on American primary source documents, public interviews with key South Vietnamese figures, and previously top-secret North Vietnamese cables and memoranda.
Veith is also the author of Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War.
This suspenseful book about the “Alcatraz Eleven” won glowing praise from two men who could not be farther apart in their politics: Senator John McCain and former President Jimmy Carter.
Defiant is also one of the few books which credit the families of POWs.
They Are All My Family: A Daring Rescue in the Chaos of Saigon’s Fall by John P. Riordan with Monique Brinson Demery.
Riordan, then the assistant manager of Citibank’s Saigon branch, was one of the many Americans who fled Saigon on U.S. military cargo planes. But once he reached safety in Hong Kong, he could not forget his Vietnamese employees and their families.
In this fascinating book, Riordan recalls his multiple returns to Saigon and ultimate rescue of 106 employees and their families.