Monday, August 13, 2018

Review of "A Pocket Guide to Vietnam," by Armed Forces Information and Education

Review of
A Pocket Guide to Vietnam, by Armed Forces Information and Education

Five out of five stars
 This pamphlet designed to give U. S. military personnel some background in the history and culture of Vietnam was published in 1962 by the Armed Forces Information and Education division. That was a time when there was some optimism regarding the situation in South Vietnam and American involvement was still very minor. President Kennedy was still alive and reluctant to commit American combat forces to the conflict.
 Most of the text is used to describe the culture, history and current conditions of South Vietnam, the underlying struggle for control of the country is mentioned, but there is no sense of urgency. While there is mention of danger for Americans in the country, it is not emphasized.
 Reading between the lines a bit, it is possible to see the verbiage of colonialism, although the authors do speak highly of the Vietnamese culture and how education and learning is revered. This is an excellent look back to a time before Vietnam became a full-fledged American war and tore the country apart.

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