Last Plane Out Of Saigon, by Richard Pena and John Hagan
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Books Go Social/Net Gallery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
The author’s claim to fame is being among the last Americans to leave South Vietnam during 1973. Unfortunately, his being photographed by a Viet Cong photographer led to the photograph being put in a Saigon museum dedicated to the Vietnam War and, when the author himself saw it, for his manuscript to come out of mothballs and be inflicted upon the rest of the world. There are definitely people who will like this book, but I am not one of them, and the reason for that is mainly the whiny leftist perspective of the author. If you are the kind of person who protests against wars and cheers on traitors and deserters, by all means, you will almost certainly appreciate this book. As someone who thinks these people should be subjected to the business end of a noose, I found this author’s perspective impossible to enjoy and that in turn made this book impossible to appreciate, even for someone who has some tolerance for pacifists .
This book is divided into five parts and has a beat about it. In the first section of every part, a leftist historian provides some bogus historical context about the diary entries of the author, which sets up the whiny fake deep reflections of the author about how unfair it is that he should be here and how mean and cruel the United States is and all that. The author and historian together team up to promote a whole batch of leftists from John Kerry to various bands and Woodstock to the hack job Born On The Fourth Of July. Included is some truly terrible revisionist history, from the belief that America as a whole was tired with Nixon regarding the Vietnam War before the Watergate Scandal and even that the Domino theory was a failure–when it was actually one of the better verified theories of the era when one considers the fall of Laos and Cambodia into Communism and the socialism that still infects North and Northeastern Thailand to the detriment of that longsuffering nation to this day. Unfortunately, the truth has never gotten in the way of traitors like the author and historian, who blithely ignore most of the evils of the Viet Cong and pin most of the blame on Americans.
The author served as a medic in a MASH unit in Vietnam and his account ranges from petty whining about being among the last soldiers drafted to discussions of his rap game with coworkers to his open support of deserters and a demand that there be a full amnesty for all of the traitors that were given less than honorable discharges for various treasonous behavior. Unfortunately, the author and historian of this work and others of their ilk are cancers in our body politic that deserve to be excised if and when it is feasible to do so without causing greater harm to the United States and its interests. Suffice it to say that whether or not you appreciate this book and its approach will depend almost entirely on the worldview you have. Those who are left of the center will think it a wonderful testament to a reluctant draftee who served his time and got to be a witness to one of the more disgraceful incidents in American history. Those who are not will likely not be as impressed, and will think it fitting that such a disgraceful moment should be inhabited by such a disgraceful human being as this.
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