|Pages/Publication Date:||448 / 2019|
Despite promises by President Nixon to assist South Vietnam in the event of invasion, when North Vietnamese forces began a full-scale assault in 1975, Congress refused to send arms or aid. The famed photograph of the fall of Saigon shows desperate Vietnamese scrambling to board a helicopter evacuating the last American personnel from Vietnam. It is an image of failure and shame. Or is it? By unpacking the surprising story that the photograph actually tells, Thurston Clarke reveals that scores of Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, missionaries, and spies—risked their lives to spirit 130,000 South Vietnamese to U.S. bases outside the country.