Where the Orange Blooms: One Man's War and Escape in Vietnam

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9780070631939: Where the Orange Blooms: One Man's War and Escape in Vietnam
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Offers a close-up portrait of Ben Cai Lam, a Vietnamese who served with the U.S. 101st Airborne Division from 1965 to 1971, describing his harsh fate under the Communist regime and his dramatic escape

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From Publishers Weekly:

Ben Cai Lam, a Vietnamese, served as an interpreter with the 101st Airborne Divison 1965-71, then as an infantry officer in the South Vietnamese army, ARVN, until the Communist takeover in '75. After five years in reeducation camps, he escaped and existed "like a wild dog" while seeking ways to flee the country with his family. As a former ARVN officer who had served with the Americans, he was worth a high bounty. Repeatedly double-crossed by escape organizers, he eventually made his way to Malaysia and freedom in an epic 1984 sea voyage. With the help of a retired general who had been his battalion commander in the 101st Airborne, Cai came to "the destination of dreams" and settled in Montana. This is the outline of a breathtaking personal account of combat, family tragedy and extraordinary adventure. In awkward but eloquent English, Cai's narrative is rich in cultural detail and sheds light on the subtle changes in Vietnamese attitudes from 1965 to the present. Taylor ( Born of War ), who provides a running commentary, is a former Airborne officer who knew Cai in Vietnam. His own memories of the war provide an illuminating counterpoint to Cai's story. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Ben Cai Lam was born in China, but his family fled to Vietnam in 1949. He fought against the Communists as a South Vietnamese soldier, including six years attached to the 101st Infantry Division, in which the author (son of Maxwell Taylor, World War II 101st commander and former ambassador to Vietnam) also served. The book is at its best when Taylor lets Lam tell the story: his military service; the end of the war; nine years as a prisoner and fugitive; rampant corruption; the many escape attempts; and his eventual arrival in the United States. The tale is marred by Taylor's tirades against the antiwar movement, and against civilian and military leaders who failed to achieve a military victory. For comprehensive Vietnam collections.
- Kenneth W. Berger, Duke Univ. Lib., Durham, N.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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