Kerry, Agent Orange and an American Family

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St. Martin's Press, 1982 - Social Science - 240 pages
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When Maureen Ryan gave birth to a daughter, Kerry, suffering from serious birth defects, her family assured her that it was not Maureen's fault, or anyone's fault- if it was God's will, the family would find the strength to deal with it. But as they worked to keep Kerry alive, the Ryans gradually became aware that Kerry's tragedy might not have been a matter of God's will, but the consequences of deliberate government policy during the Vietnam War. This book is two stories. One is an inspiring account of love and sacrifice that reconfirms the traditional American virtues of faith and dedication. The other is a horror story, a carefully documented chronicle of how the defoliant Agent Orange, containing a contaminant, dioxin, long known to be one of the most potent carcinogens in existence, was used as an instrument of U.S. military policy with total disregard for its ultimate effects. The two stories merge when Michael and Maureen Ryan join other Vietnam veterans and their lawyers in a struggle to win recognition and compensation for their unknowing sacrifice. The story is at once a powerful evocation of the tragic legacy of Vietnam. -- from Book Jacket.

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