By Monique Brinson Demery
"When Monique Demery got down to locate the notorious Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, the previous First girl of South Vietnam were in exile for over 40 years, and had lived in close to seclusion for the final thirty of them. complete books were written concerning the results of that November coup: checking out America's function and what influence it had at the coming battle, yet for the main half, historians have been flummoxed via the Dragon woman. Her hourglass determine stuffed and splash of colour enlightened what have been another way murky beginnings to a gloomy conflict. and she or he gave americans whatever to rally round, whether it used to be purely to cheer opposed to her. yet little used to be heard from the lady herself. The final big apple occasions reporter who attempted to get entry to Madame Nhu in 1987 was once grew to become away on the door and instructed she charged for interviews--one thousand cash a pop. yet someway, via a mix of persistence, crafty, and a bit success, Demery controlled to strike up a years-long courting with the Dragon woman and finally used to be entrusted along with her diary and autobiography. This publication is the tale of that unbelievable connection and a deeper examine the girl who was once feared and despised by way of loads of the world"-- Read more...
summary: "When Monique Demery got down to locate the notorious Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, the previous First girl of South Vietnam were in exile for over 40 years, and had lived in close to seclusion for the final thirty of them. complete books were written concerning the effects of that November coup: checking out America's function and what influence it had at the coming battle, yet for the main half, historians have been flummoxed by way of the Dragon woman. Her hourglass determine crammed and splash of colour enlightened what have been in a different way murky beginnings to a gloomy battle. and she or he gave american citizens anything to rally round, whether it used to be simply to cheer opposed to her. yet little used to be heard from the lady herself. The final long island occasions reporter who attempted to get entry to Madame Nhu in 1987 used to be became away on the door and advised she charged for interviews--one thousand cash a pop. yet one way or the other, via a mix of endurance, crafty, and somewhat success, Demery controlled to strike up a years-long dating with the Dragon woman and eventually was once entrusted together with her diary and autobiography. This publication is the tale of that unbelievable connection and a deeper examine the lady who was once feared and despised by means of a lot of the realm"
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Extra info for Finding the Dragon Lady : the mystery of Vietnam's Madame Nhu
In 1963, at the height of her fame, the New York Times named the thirty-nine-year-old First Lady of South Vietnam “the most powerful” woman in Asia and likened her to Lucrezia Borgia. But it was Madame Nhu’s reputation as the Dragon Lady that brought her real distinction. When Buddhist monks were setting themselves on fire in the streets of Saigon, Madame Nhu’s response was unspeakably cruel: “Let them burn, and we shall clap our hands,” she had said with a smile. ” The dangerous, dark-eyed beauty quickly became a symbol of everything wrong with American involvement in the Vietnam War.
The important thing was to tell the story before it suffered the neglect of a forgotten grave. Before leaving, I rested one hand on each headstone. The image of the Chuongs’ kindly faces from the newspaper floated before me. I was so sorry for them; what a terrible way to go. ”7 CHAPTER 3 A Distinguished Family T HE MORE I LEARNED ABOUT MADAME NHU’S early years, the less glorious her family’s past seemed. It became hard to reconcile the smiling faces of the elderly couple pictured in a 1986 Washington newspaper with the darker portrait of the Chuongs that emerged.
Who might these men have become if it hadn’t been for Vietnam? “Life is random,” my father would say, like a mantra. He meant the words to be comforting. It was his way of soothing my naive sense of injustice, of making sense of the world. My father got his draft notice in the mail in 1966, just after his college graduation. He had already been accepted to graduate school and offered a stipend as a teaching assistant, but the draft board rejected his appeal for a deferment. My father’s number all but guaranteed him infantry duty in Vietnam, so, like many in the same predicament, he applied to Officer Candidate School and was accepted into the army.