Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam

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Da Capo Press, 1997 - History - 387 pages
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In this stunning history, soldiers and civilians, both American and Vietnamese, tell what it was like in the spring of 1975 as Hanoi carried out its final, successful offensive against the Republic of Vietnam. Generals, ambassadors, pilots, marines, politicians, doctors, seamen, flight attendants, journalists, children, and even Vietcong soldiers describe the growing demoralization, panic, and chaos as the collapse gained momentum. American survivors recall with raw emotions the escape of the last airliner out of Danang, the chilling helicopter airlift from the U.S. embassy roof in Saigon, and the painful abandonment of their South Vietnamese allies. Former boat people relate their hair-raising encounters with Thai pirates; and in a new postscript, an American government official describes the resettlement of 130,000 Vietnamese refugees in America over the ensuing months. Touching, heroic, and unforgettable, these dramatic narratives illuminate the closing act of one of the central events of modern history.
 

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Contents

Part Ones Americans I Last Flight from Danang
3
Orphans
19
The Congressional Delegation
26
American Embassy
33
Central Intelligence Agency
60
Defense Attache Office
75
Joint Military Team
93
Military Sealift Command
107
San Ciemente California
221
Vietnamese
223
Military
225
Civilians
253
Children
270
Victors
297
Aftermath
315
Bui Doi Dust of the Earth
317

Marines
120
POW
145
Washington D C
148
Media
159
Civilians
207
Vietnamese
322
Light at the End of the Tunnel Resettling the Refugees
359
Glossary of Abbreviations and Acronyms
373
Index
375
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About the author (1997)

Larry Engelmann lives in San Jose, California. He is the author of three books, and his stories have appeared in prominent magazines nationwide. He is currently writing a book on a group of women intelligence officers in the People's Liberation Army of China.

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