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Aid and Comfort: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam Hardcover – March 4, 2002

29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786412471 ISBN-10: 078641247X

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Editorial Reviews


“Invaluable” --History News Network

“Succeed[s] remarkably well in making a notoriously difficult topic understandable...interesting” --The Washington Times

“ invaluable brief” --Front Page --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Henry Mark Holzer is a professor emeritus at Brooklyn Law School. Erika Holzer is a lawyer, novelist and essayist. They live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company (March 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078641247X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786412471
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fox on November 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is now more than 30 years since the last Americans left Saigon, and while most of the embers stoked in the 1960s have cooled, the visit by anti-war activist Jane Fonda to North Vietnam still inflames many. Given the temperature of the topic, any indictment of Fonda should be documented thoroughly and analyzed rigorously. The review of Fonda's activities should be divorced from any discussion of the merit of the war itself (or whether the United States was right to have been involved.) This book fits the bill on all counts.

Unsurprisingly, since one of the authors is a law professor emeritus, this book is written as a legal brief would be: the Holzers discuss the facts in detail; then explain the law; and finally apply the law to the facts. "Aid and Comfort" starts with a discussion of Fonda's early life and her involvement as a young adult with left-leaning French friends of her then-husband Roger Vadim. None of this background is necessary for the indictment, as Fonda's motive in going to Vietnam is irrelevant -- what counts are her acts. Nonetheless, it is interesting, and provides a picture of a very insecure woman whose political opinions were formed and shaped by the men with whom she was involved.

The next chapter is a harrowing discussion of the treatment of American POWs by the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. It is hard to read, but is necessary to demonstrate the effects that Fonda's words would have on these servicemen. After all, broadcasting propoganda aimed at destroying the spirit of those who were barely clinging to life is more serious than disseminating it to a well-fed population with other sources of news. (In either case, as the Holzers demonstrate, a charge of treason could be levied.
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88 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Phil Dragoo on June 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a historico-legal research and summary of the applicable treason law--as actually applied to convict and sentence other American citizens who gave aid and comfort to our enemies during armed conflict.
The author clearly shows that Jane Fonda's actions in 1972 would have brought her case to a grand jury. Based on comparison to the actions of convicted American citizens during WWII, Jane Fonda would likely have been convicted as well.
The eight-minute O'Reilly Factor in which author Professor Henry Mark Holzer confronted Fonda's former husband and comrade Tom Hayden is devastating to observe. Hayden falls back on a lame First Amendment defense, and cannot even grasp that North Vietnamese leaders themselves said Fonda had given them the strength to continue.
The American citizens who broadcast for the Nazis and Japanese propaganda radio in WWII were convicted on less evidence than is displayed concerning Fonda's July, 1972 work for the North Vietnamese.
That the U.S. Department of Justice failed to prosecute for fear of a public relations backlash seems in retrospect cowardly and badly reasoned.
The service of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines was valiant, and their betrayal by Fonda is a vile thing to behold. Her betrayal of the duties of a citizen is clear, and resonates in the cases of John Walker Lindh and Jose Padilla.
Aid and Comfort is relevant for then and now.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael M. Rosenblatt on July 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Many people protested this war, both actively and passively. Some even went to prison as a "fruit" of their protest. Some went to Canada to avoid the draft. Many took part in various public events and protests. Whether you choose to indict that large group or not, it is true that (almost) none of them went to give "aid and comfort" to the enemy. With one major exception:

Except for Jane Fonda, by actually contacting the North Vietnamese, and using her public persona and fame to visit the POWs, make defamatory statements about them and posing in front of weaponry used to fight against the US. This was an entirely new and unprecedented type of "protest."

Now that I write this, there are still South Vietnamese ex-residents who were severely damaged by the loss of the War. By this I mean they were forced to leave in tiny boats, many drowning in the process, spend years in "re-education" camps in starvation, lost all of their property, and in some cases were actively tortured by the "winners."

Pacifism always has a cost. True, it was a civil war. But when we left (after doing everything we could to try to prevent loss of the war), there were consequences.

Pacifism (or if you prefer, non-intervention) is still a very active topic of discussion and has great relevance today, as much as it did during the Vietnam War.

Fonda seemed to support the doctrine of pacifism, at least in this war. I am not familiar with any comments she has made about subsequent US conflicts. For example, as an erstwhile supporter of woman's rights, what has she done to further the rights of the women of Islam? my knowledge.
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53 of 71 people found the following review helpful By M. JM Raffin on December 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This text is a superbly written and seriously scholarly product that provides the fundamental basis, based on a foundation of thorough legal analysis of documented events, for formulating what amounts to an indictment of the behaviors of a traitor. The text is fascinating but nevertheless maintains a rigorous adherence to analyses of various data bases, and provides the reader with a fine example of integrated logic and reasoning in what could easily have been be a purely emotional treatise which typically characterizes much of the published articles concerning Ms. Fonda's behaviors in time of war.
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