A Gift of Barbed Wire
America's Allies Abandoned in South Vietnam
From the early years in French colonial Vietnam through the Vietnam War, from postwar ordeals of re-education camps, social ostracism, and poverty to eventual emigration to the United States, this collection of narratives provides broad and highly personal accounts of individuals and families evolving against the backdrop of war and vast social change.
Some of the people interviewed for the book eventually reached the United States as boat people fleeing Vietnam in unsafe vessels; others arrived, after rigorous screening, through U.S. Government-sponsored programs. But even in the safety of the United States they had to begin anew, devoting all their remaining energies to survival.
While crediting the courage and resilience of these families, McKelvey holds a critical mirror up to our culture, exploring the nature of our responsibility to our allies as well as the attitudes that obscured the reality of war as "a grinding, brutal interplay of complex forces that often develops a sustaining energy and momentum of its own, driving us in directions that we neither anticipated nor desired."
About the Author
"A Gift of Barbed Wire is the only study of Vietnamese re—education camp experiences that includes in some detail the family members of those who were incarcerated and the effects—-economic, social, and psychological—-that imprisonment had on the whole family."—James Freeman, author of Hearts of Sorrow: Vietnamese American Lives
Other Titles by Robert S. McKelvey
Other Titles in HISTORY / Asia / Southeast Asia
Other Titles in Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies