Small Wars Journal is kicking off an ambitious new project concerning the U.S. Marine Corps’ Combined Action Program in Vietnam. I’ll have much more on the larger project later, for now SWJ is jump-starting it with a call for several book reviews (2-3 or more) of Bing West’s classic book The Village.
First published in 1972, “The Village is a vivid and unbiased portrait of one Vietnamese hamlet in the grip of war -- and the daily lives, battles, and frustrations of its inhabitants, PF's and Marines”. “In The Village, one Marine squad fought for 495 days-half of them died. Few American battles have been so extended, savage and personal. A handful of Americans volunteered to live among six thousand Vietnamese, training farmers to defend their village. Such ‘Combined Action Platoons’ are now a lost footnote about how the war could have been fought; only the villagers remain to bear witness. This is the story of fifteen resolute young Americans matched against two hundred Viet Cong; how a CAP lived, fought and died. And why the villagers remember them to this day.”
If you are interested, and can write, I’ll send a paperback copy of The Village (on SWJ’s dime) to you via Amazon. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – with your name and address.