One More Mission: Oliver North Returns to Vietnam

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9780061093517: One More Mission: Oliver North Returns to Vietnam

Offering a moving and informative look at the Vietnam war and its aftermath, a former Marine lieutenant who fought near the demilitarized zone returns to Vietnam to find out if anything good came out of all the tragedy. Reprint.

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North's Under Fire (1991) has sold more than 650,000 copies, reason enough to purchase this account of his tour of duty--as a marine second lieutenant--in 1968 and of his return to Vietnam, at the urging of Zondervan, in the spring of 1993. The combat scenes are gripping, due no doubt to coauthor Roth, whose worshipful Sacred Honor: The Biography of Colin Powell has just been published. Even so, North lingers on the war too long, at least with respect to the announced purpose of his book. The "mission" is one of peace--to carry out the biblical injunction to help one's enemies. North strikes a winning tone in this regard, offering portraits of the Christian aid groups, International Aid and Vets with a Mission. But his account of today's Vietnam, while not breezy, is hardly intimate, and the notion of North as an old vet with a need to come to terms with his memories seems more convenient than heartfelt. North isn't insincere; it's just that he doesn't seem to have any ghosts to deal with. His faith, his marriage, his prosperity, and his status as a hero have anchored him. North is best on the sad state of medical facilities in Vietnam, personalizing the story with the testimony of desperate physicians and with accounts of hydroencephalic children--who until recently couldn't be treated in Vietnam. Otherwise, it's clear North wasn't in-country very long. John Mort

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