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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: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,389 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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hedstrom 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big Bear on October 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Very strange how most of the reviewers of this book never set foot in LBJ or served in Vietnam seem to have clear and precise notions as to the accuracy of this book The author has actually drawn from a minimal amount of sources except for ex-prisoners. Those who there and had to go in and do the dirty work of taking this facility back from the savage criminals that overran it. Those of us who were there do little more than snicker at the poor research and lop sided misjugment and pronouncements that came out of this misguided attempt at revisionist history. The military police who were tasked with this sad debacle did not cause a single death. Walk the walk before you try to talk the talk.
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