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There are all-too-few Vietnam War memoirs written by African-Americans. This is perhaps the best of those few. It is the autobiographical account of a young black man, who, newly graduated from high school, joined the Marine Corps to escape inner-city Memphis. Military service was the avenue out of the ghetto, but within six months Terry Whitmore found himself, like many African-American enlistees, in Vietnam with the infantry.
Despite his growing awareness of racial injustice in the armed forces, he proved himself courageous. In a vicious firefight, he was badly wounded. In the hospital, encased in bandages, he was awarded medals for heroism by Lyndon Johnson himself.
The seriousness of his wounds required that he be sent to Japan for treatment. He was notified that he would be discharged. As he recovered, he became involved with a Japanese woman opposed to the war, and through her influence and that of black soldiers he met, he equated the motivations for war with American racism. Inexplicably he was ordered back to Vietnam. He made the decision to desert. Pursued by MPs, he was shuttled about by a protective underground community until members of the international peace community spirited him to asylum in Sweden via a modern underground railroad. In Sweden he found himself put on display by the all-white "movement" there. Eventually Whitmore managed to tell his own story in his own voice. His book is among the finest memoirs of Vietnam experience.
Terry Whitmore lives in Stockholm. Richard Weber is an attorney, teacher, and film writer who lives in Stockholm. Jeff Loeb is a teacher at Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri.
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This poignant story told by a deserter is one of the few African-American memoirs of the Vietnam experience. It very well may be the finest. A young black man escapes the Memphis ghetto by enlisting in the Marines. Within six months, like many other black soldiers, he is assigned to the front lines of combat. In Vietnam he senses that racial injustice and discrimination are as much the enemy as the Viet Cong. In a vicious firefight he is badly wounded. Swathed in bandages, he is awarded medals for heroism by LBJ himself. While hospitalized in Japan for further treatment and awaiting discharge, he is ordered back into battle. His unanswered questions about injustice, his romance with a Japanese woman opposed to the war, and his meetings with other discontented black soldiers cause him to make the decision that alters the course of his life forever. Protective peaceniks shuttle him into the safe haven of Sweden. There he finds himself on display as a symbol and a token. This is his painful narrative, an unforgettable account of a disturbing era.From the Inside Flap:
One of the finest memoirs of the Vietnam experience
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Book Description University Press of Mississipp, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110878059849
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. All items inspected and guaranteed. All Orders Dispatched from the UK within one working day. Established business with excellent service record. Seller Inventory # mon0000018358
Book Description University Press of Mississippi, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0878059849