On March 16, 1968, American soldiers killed as many as five
hundred Vietnamese men, women, and children in a village near the
South China Sea. In "My Lai" William Thomas Allison explores and
evaluates the significance of this horrific event. How could such a
thing have happened? Who (or what) should be held accountable? How
do we remember this atrocity and try to apply its lessons, if
My Lai has fixed the attention of Americans of various political
stripes for more than forty years. The breadth of writing on the
massacre, from news reports to scholarly accounts, highlights the
difficulty of establishing fact and motive in an incident during
which confusion, prejudice, and self-preservation overwhelmed the
Son of a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War--and aware that the
generation who lived through the incident is aging--Allison seeks
to ensure that our collective memory of this shameful episode does
Well written and accessible, Allison's book provides a clear
narrative of this historic moment and offers suggestions for how to
come to terms with its aftermath.
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