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Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus, 1975-1982 0th Edition

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786445295
ISBN-10: 0786445297
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About the Author

Larry Clinton Thompson was a diplomat for the Department of State in Southeast Asia during the 1970s and has worked in more than thirty countries worldwide as a refugee advocate and humanitarian aid worker.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (April 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786445297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786445295
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My books reflect my experience as a diplomat and a humanitarian relief worker in more than thirty countries around the world.

In "William Scott Ament" I told the tale of what has been described as the "most exciting episode of civilization." I dug into the moral aspects of the Boxer Rebellion and the siege of Peking, choosing as my principal character the American missionary William Scott Ament, a man of unquestioned rectitude, bravery, and ability. I looked at how Ament and others in the rebellion reacted to extreme stress and physical danger. Ament was one among many who lost his bearings -- but nevertheless he is a sympathetic and admirable man of great accomplishment.

I wrote "Refugee Workers" to tell the story of people who were caught up in the Indochina refugee crisis after the Vietnam War. It's a cracking good tale about a few dedicated people who worked to save the lives of people threatened by the communist governments of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. There's adventure here, a cast of colorful characters, including both heroes and knaves, and an insider's look at how the world responds to humanitarian emergencies. My principal sources were personal interviews and unpublished documents so most of what you will find in this book is unique.

On a personal note, I'm originally from a small town in Oklahoma and a proud member of the Kaw Indian tribe. I don't plan to write any more books although I write anonymously on Wikipedia and publish an occasional article or story on websites. Take a look, for example, of the account of my experiences during the 1978 coup d'etat in Afghanistan at http://www.hackwriters.com/78RevolutionAfghan.htm.

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Format: Paperback
Like most Vietnam veterans (173rd Airborne Brigade '66-'67) my knowledge of Vietnam ended with the evacuation of the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975. This book starts with the evacuation and then delves into the period after the war, especially the refugee crisis. Having experienced two Embassy evacuations in the Middle East, under hostile conditions , I can personally vouch for the emotion, stress and chaos that the author so vividly describes during the Saigon evacuation. What happened afterwards, between 1975 and 1982 was an outpouring of more than a million people from the three Indochinese countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Most of these people fled because they were persecuted for helping the United States during the Vietnam War. The refugee crisis put an enormous strain on the countries receiving them, especially Thailand.
The author tells the story of the refugees and the refugee workers in Southeast Asia who took it upon themselves to help the refugees. They were a colorful group ranging from idealistic young Peace Corps volunteers to seasoned CIA operatives and Special Forces military officers. From all sides of the political spectrum, they worked together to save the lives of Indochinese refugees. Given that most Americans simply wished to forget all about Vietnam their accomplishments were remarkable. We also get a good understanding of the politics in Washington and the UN that influenced the refugee workers in the field.
This book has a large and well-described cast of characters and includes many fascinating stories. For example, the CIA-assisted evacuation of the Hmong from Laos is a little known chapter in the "Secret War." A chilling chapter describes the takeover of Cambodia by the genocidal Khmer Rouge.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very detailed... about a sad subject. I caught the tail-end of this story when i was in HongKong from 1988 to 1991 when the Vietnamese boat people were still in camps there and later visited one family I befriended there when they were settled in Vancouver.
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This book has been invaluable to me in my research into this period. The detail and richness of the work are incredibly impressive. There are not many (any?) official textbooks that cover this material, so I am hugely grateful to Larry Clinton Thompson, who worked for the State Dept., for doing this thorough, thoughtful work about an important but somewhat remote time and place - refugee camps in Cambodia, the Vietnamese boat people, the huge numbers of government and NGO workers who really really did all they could to help refugees for decades.... Thank you, Mr. Thompson.The photographs are also important documents.
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