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Long Binh Jail: An Oral History of Vietnam's Notorious U.S. Military Prison Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Brassey's Inc (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574883372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574883374
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cecil Barr Currey is in phased retirement as a professor of military history at the University of South Florida in Tampa. In 1992 he retired with the rank of colonel from the US Army Reserve in which he served as a chaplain. Author of numerous professional articles, encyclopedia and dictionary entries, and book chapters, he also has written twelve books.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Karl W. Ford on May 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
From August, 1970 to September, 1971, I was a guard on the twelve-hour nightshift at Long Binh Jail, the U.S. Army's stockade in Vietnam. And so, I had a special interest in reading Cecil Barr Curry's "oral history" of "LBJ". It could be said, I suppose, that my direct involvement with the place prevented me from making an objective evaluation of Curry's book. But I believe it gave me an advantage in determining if Curry's account of this "notorious" episode in America's venture in Vietnam was accurate. And, for the most part, it was.
I say "for the most part" because it is an oral history, told by prisoners and cadre. And, as Curry noted at the outset, memories tend to modify over the years into either exaggerations or self-serving alternations. I even found myself questioning my own memories of certain "incidents" and conditions there but, to be certain, Curry's account validated much of my experience. If I had any problem, it's that I wish he had used more "eye witnesses." In the eight-year history of Long Binh Jail, literally thousands passed through its Main Gate, one way or another, and seeing the same names used repeatedly for his sources was frustrating (or maybe I was just disappointed I hadn't been interviewed).
Curry traced the development of both the physical structure and the human condition of LBJ. The first began as little more than a tented encampment on old tennis courts near Tan Son Nhut Airport near Saigon. It eventually grew into the maze of fence and concertina wire that I knew at the sprawling post at Long Binh. To be sure, there was more than one LBJ, and I turned out to one of the last to work at the "old" LBJ.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Birdsong on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a former prisoner of Long Binh Jail, Vietnam, I waited decades for someone to finally write a history of both the institution of the US Army Installation Stockade, known as the LBJ (Long Binh Jail) and the famous race riot that occurred there Aug 29, 1968. I give the author credit for doing the best he could with very limited resources. For prospective readers, this story is about the build-up to the riot and the violent riot that was instigated by an angry group of black prisoners. It turned into a raging inferno and became the largest military prison riot in American history. The author rely's heavily on info gathered from many interviews with former guards and prisoners and what little information that is available on the subject. It is amazing the vengence the black rioting prisoners attacked white prisoners and guards with, inflicting much injury and killing one prisoner; according to one testimony, a unit of MPs was dispatched with fixed drawn, possibly killing 18 rioting, attacking prisoners and torching most the buildings. The prison commandant was permanentally disabled when he was bludgeoned in the head by prisoners with bunk adapters. Prisoners the author misses are those who turned in their guns in the combat theater refusing to fight; many black soldiers were in this category. Author sides with guards who emphasize that all the prisoners were just a bunch of thugs and trouble makers who would have been in jail even if there was no war. I know that's not true because I was a prisoner there myself. The book is slightly misleading. Most of the prisoners were not the criminal type but were there following courts-martial for breaking military law, and many for refusing to fight.Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lee447 on August 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book gives a clear picture of the break down in leadership and discipline in the vietnam war.from the highest commanders there was a lack of understanding of the type of soldier that the leaders were dealing with some of thes soldiers committed atrocious act of murder and mayhem this i feel that the leaders from the top down failed to realize that there was an criminal element in the war zone that LBJ was not equipped to deal with after conviction for felony charges these soldiers should have immediately sent back to the States for confinement.there is no way that what happened at LBJ should have occurred.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kwai Chang Finkleberger on September 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book tends to becomes repetitous, but is still worth reading.
The problem with LBJ wound up being not the stockade as much as the incompetency on the part of those that ran it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fenton A. Sawyer on October 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellant book, well written and it was very factual and truthful in all the event that happen while prisons were there during the Vietnam War. Sad we had to run such an operation where many were killed inside for the lack of leadership and security.
But that has gone on in our military for years and will never end. Placng the wrong people in charge of something they don't have a clue about in real life. Being a college grad doesn't necessarly make you a leader. Many officers in the military should of been thrown out before ever getting promoted to higher rank. But when you are a ring knoxing West Pointer you can do no wrong..! They are well protected. But the enlisted pay the price in blood down the road, but again it will never change.
Being a Vietnam Veteran myself who spent 37 months in country, I see many things lifers should of been hung for day after day. But it was all covered up and they went back home with awards and promotions they did not deserve.
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