The Dust of Life: America's Children Abandoned in Vietnam

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University of Washington Press, Jan 1, 1999 - History - 135 pages
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The Dust of Lifeis a collection of vivid and devastating oral histories of Vietnamese Amerasians. Abandoned during the war by their American fathers, discriminated against by the victorious Communists, and ignored for many years by the American government, they endured life in impoverished Vietnam. Their stories are sad, sometimes tragic, but they are also testimonials to the strength of human resiliency.

Robert S. McKelvey is a former marine who served in Vietnam in the late 1960s. Now a child psychiatrist, he returned to Vietnam in 1990 to begin the long series of interviews that resulted in this book. While allowing his subjects to speak for themselves, McKelvey has organized their narratives around themes common to their lives: early maternal loss, the experience of prejudice and discrimination, coping with adversity, dealing with shattered hopes for the future, and, for some, adapting to the alien environment of the United States.

While unique in many respects, the Vietnamese Amerasian story also illustrates themes that are tragically universal: neglect of the human by-products of war, the destructiveness of prejudice and racism, the pain of abandonment, and the horrors of life amidst extreme poverty, hostility, and neglect.

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The dust of life: America's children abandoned in Vietnam

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

While television accounts of war and civil strife tend to devote substantial time to the plight of the helpless civilian, published accounts largely concentrate on the military and political aspects ... Read full review

Review: Dust of Life

User Review  - Joyce - Goodreads

An academic work. Lots of cases. Interesting. No secret to success. Very difficult lives. Raises lots of questions. Good reference book. Read full review

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