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Our Own Worst Enemy

Lederer, William J.

Published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, New York, 1968
Condition: Good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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21 cm. 287, [1] pages. Footnotes. Appendices [Biographies, Documents, The Geneva Agreement, and The Poats Testimony]. DJ worn, torn, chipped and soiled. Signed on fep. A shattering, first hand report of America`s self-inflicted defeats overseas, notably Vietnam, where we are losing at every level while being told we are winning. Hard evidence that self-deception and ignorance are now our greatest national problem. The author was the co-author of The Ugly American. William Julius Lederer, Jr. (March 31, 1912 - December 5, 2009) was an American author and naval officer. He was a US Naval Academy graduate in 1936. His first appointment was as the junior officer of the USS Tutuila, a river gunboat on the Yangtze River. His best selling work, 1958's The Ugly American, was one of several novels co-written with Eugene Burdick. Disillusioned with the style and substance of America's diplomatic efforts in Southeast Asia, Lederer and Burdick openly sought to demonstrate their belief that American officials and civilians could make a substantial difference in Southeast Asian politics if they were willing to learn local languages, follow local customs and employ regional military tactics. In Our Own Worst Enemy Lederer relates that, as a young Navy Lieutenant, Junior Grade in 1940, he had a chance meeting with a Jesuit priest, Father Pierre Cogny, and his Vietnamese assistant, "Mr. Nguyen", while waiting out a Japanese bombing raid in China. Father Pierre asked Lederer if he had a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence on his gunboat, and Lederer said that he did and provided them with a copy. "Mr. Nguyen" was eager to deliver the document to "Tong Van So" who later became better known as Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese Communist revolutionary and statesman who served as prime minister (1946-1955) and president (1945-1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). The 1945 Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, written by Ho Chi Minh, begins by quoting from the American document. This book describes how the United States supported a corrupt President Diem in South Vietnam, ignored massive black market selling of stolen U.S. military supplies, food, and foreign aid, and refused to stand up to corrupt local officials who stole donated food and supplies, took kickbacks and bullied their own population, as we continued saying "It's their country, and we Americans are only guests here." Derived from a Kirkus review: Ten years after the appearance of The Ugly American, co-author Lederer has found, in contemporary South Vietnam, a harassed, humiliated, impotent American, victim of both the nature of American international policy and a corrupt, exploitative South Vietnam ruling clique. Personally witnessing shocking and frightening corruption in the detested government of South Vietnam, Lederer again makes the indictment that Americans cannot help a country without knowing the country: the language, the aims of the people, the culture, and direction of self-determination. Lederer watched trucks of American military supplies crossing the Cambodian border at the direction of a South Vietnamese official, to be exchanged for Chinese goods; he saw battle-weary G.I.'s unable to buy the supplies they needed at a PX which openly sold costly diamonds. "Top level" interviews with American officials revealed that the government of South Vietnam calls the shots. Lederer has nothing but praise for the fine Marine CAP program, but its effectiveness is being weakened for lack of government cooperation. First Edition [Stated], First Printing [Stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 73965

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Our Own Worst Enemy

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, New York

Publication Date: 1968

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

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