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Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives Hardcover – January 25, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (January 25, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671871188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671871185
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the face of Hanoi's policy of withholding POW/MIA information, a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency operation called Swamp Ranger, led by former U.N. refugee officer Theodore G. Schweitzer, gained access to the People's Army archives and examined records of Americans who survived capture during the Vietnam War and some who did not. Schweitzer also obtained photos of U.S. prisoners, alive or dead. Though Vietnamese military officials were helpful, the civilian bureaucracy eventually withdrew cooperation, but not before Schweitzer had collected information on the fate of hundreds of missing American servicemen. McConnell's (Into the Mouth of the Cat) book demolishes the myth that Washington knowingly abandoned surviving POWs in Indochina. It also exposes fund-raising scams, bogus former POWs and others who attempt to take advantage of grieving relatives. The book offers vivid glimpses of Vietnam, especially the corruption, greed and negative impact of the current commercial boom on the resolution of the MIA issue. Photos not seen by PW. Military Book Club selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Reportedly based on exclusive access to secret Vietnamese archives in Hanoi, this book aims to settle the MIA/POW controversy once and for all.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Tolle on May 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For two decades following the Vietnam war, ill-fated attempts by the United States to obtain conclusive evidence concerning the fate of hundreds of POW/MIA's from the Vietnam war finally found success. In a bold and daring espionage mission, former U.N. refugee officer Theodore G. Schweitzer was the acting agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in what later became known as Operation Swamp Ranger.
Beginning in March of 1992 and lasting several months, Schweitzer was granted access to Vietnamese war archives that held a voluminous amount of information on U.S. servicemen that were missing in action and others that were held as prisoners of war. Vietnam, up until this point, had strenuously denied for years that they had any useful data on missing servicemen and they blatantly withheld documents that would solve many discrepancy cases on unknown losses of U.S. personnel. Using previously unreleased photographs, meticulously annotated files, and physical evidence, Operation Swamp Ranger completely exposed Vietnam's attempts to bury the POW/MIA issue over the years. Although only suspected by the U.S. government, Vietnam's General Political Directorate (GPD) finally admitted that many U.S. servicemen were killed in cold blood.
Operation Swamp Ranger also proved to be useful in the aspect that it helped dispel the widespread theory that Americans had been abandoned by the U.S. government after repatriation of POW's in 1973. Furthermore, scams and other fraudulent activities aimed at the grieving families of MIA's were exposed and contradicted by evidence gained from Hanoi's archives. Lastly, there appears to be no conclusive facts to date which could verify that there are actual live POW's still held in Vietnam today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Nociti on July 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...I'm not sorry I read it.
Throughout, there are hints of "conspiracy theories" but I think that is unavoidable in a topic as sensitive as this one. Did the US knowingly abandon troops in Vietnam and Laos? Do we know they are still there but unwilling to do what's necessary to get them home? These questions are answered, I think, satisfactorily. It's well-documented and the photographs are very applicable.
While not necessarily what I consider a 5-star book, it was recommended to me by an avid history and military history reader whose opinion I regard highly. If these topics are your "cup of tea", I'd recommend this even more.
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By Steven G. Shores on August 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unbeliveable. Everyone who has voiced an opinion on the MIA issue needs to read this book.
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By Jersey Kid on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For the makers and marketers of those nifty little conspiracy books about American PoWs that are still alive and being held in Vietnam, this book should be the slap in the face that makes them stop writing such painful trash.

While I will stipulate that I believe some US personnel in the period from World War Two until, say, 1975 did end up in the former Soviet Union, I do not believe that camps now exist in Southeast Asia that contain any US service people.

Why?

Because this book lays out factual evidence that all those listed as anything but KIA in Communist controlled territory are dead. They died either evading capture; were killed during capture; died in captivity from torture or from disease.

The bulk of this book is devoted to describing the convoluted process needed to get an American researcher access to some - but not all - military files on US PoWs in Hanoi is fascinating in and of itself. When the level of detail these files contained is exposed, it is heart-wrenching if ultimately satisfying to know what happened to these men. There are some vignettes telling of wives and families finally learning and, in some cases, seeing what happend to their loved ones. But, worse still is the fact the reader learns: there are more files - to which access was not granted - that provide even greater knowledge of the fates of some.

Worth the harrowing read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Barnes on January 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not credible, nor factual at all, a worthless read and not worth the paper it is written on, pure fictional trash without any facts at all.
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