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    Contributors | September 15, 2015

    Mary Karr: IMG Memoir Tutorials with Mary Karr, Lena Dunham, and Gary Shteyngart

    Editor's note: It's been 20 years since the groundbreaking memoir The Liars' Club sent Mary Karr into the literary spotlight with its phenomenal... Continue »
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      The Art of Memoir

      Mary Karr 9780062223067


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Black Prisoner of War: A Conscientious Objector's Vietnam Memoir (Modern War Studies)


Black Prisoner of War: A Conscientious Objector's Vietnam Memoir (Modern War Studies) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Black Prisoner of War chronicles the story of James Daly, a young black soldier held captive for more than five years by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese and subsequently accused (and acquitted) of collaboration with the enemy. One of the very few books about the Vietnam War by an African American, Daly's memoir is both a testament to survival and a provocative meditation on the struggle between patriotism and religious conviction.

First published in 1975 as A Hero's Welcome, Daly's memoir had only a brief exposure before it sank from sight. At the time, most Americans simply wanted to forget about the war. But, as Jeff Loeb argues, Daly's story is a compelling one that merits a much wider readership.

Raised in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant area, Daly fought to overcome difficult circumstances through hard work and religion. When the Vietnam War intervened, he was denied conscientious objector status, despite his strong pacifist beliefs. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army, but only after a black recruiter assured him he would receive a non-combat assignment. Instead, he was sent to fight in Vietnam, where he was denied repeated requests for reassignment. In protest, he refused to load or fire his weapon, even when sent out on patrol.

When his unit was ambushed by the Viet Cong, he began his long ordeal in captivity, first in the jungles of South Vietnam and then in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton." As a POW, he was still an outcast: a black "grunt" and pacifist among mostly white air force officers who considered any sort of accommodation treasonable. Such charges were eventually leveled at Daly for joining the so-called Peace Committee and signing a letter condemning American actions in the war. Although Daly's decisions were in keeping with his pacifism and he was later cleared of the charges, he remains a controversial figure for many Vietnam veterans.

Exploring the limits of both accommodation and resistance, Daly's memoir forces us to reassess the POW experience and race relations in Vietnam, as well as the complex relationship between personal belief and public duty.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Jeff Loeb

1. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, 1966

2. Basic Training

3. Fort Polk, Louisiana, Spring 1967

4. Fort Polk, Louisiana, Spring 1967

5. Exploring Options

6. In Country

7. Chou Lai, November 1967

8. Que Son Valley, Christmas 1967

9. Captured!

10. South Vietnam, Tet, January 1968

11. On the Move

12. POW Camp, South Vietnam, March 1968

13. The Escape Attempt, April Fool's Day, 1968

14. The Letter, South Vietnam

15. Rat Face and Mr. Thieu

16. 1970: Camp to Camp

17. Ho Chi Minh Trail, March 1971

18. Plantation Gardens, Hanoi, Spring 1971

19. The Peace Committee

20. Plantation Gardens, Hanoi, Christmas 1971

21. The Letter, North Vietnam

22. Studying the War

23. Plantation Gardens, Hanoi, Christmas 1972

24. Free at Last

25. Back in the U.S.A.

26. The Real Enemy

27. The End of the Ordeal

An Afterword, Lee Bergman

Product Details

Loeb, Jeff
Bergman, Lee
Daly, James A.
Loeb, Jeff
University Press of Kansas
People of Color
Vietnamese conflict, 1961-1975
Conscientious objectors
Prisoners and prisons, North Vietnamese
cultural heritage
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Military - Vietnam War
Edition Description:
Modern War Studies (Hardcover)
Publication Date:
9.34x6.26x1.16 in. 1.36 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War

Black Prisoner of War: A Conscientious Objector's Vietnam Memoir (Modern War Studies) New Hardcover
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