Wednesday, June 15, 2011


It has been several months since I first alerted you to the fact that I was reading VALLEY OF DEATH by Ted Morgan, a Pulitzer Prize winner. The sub-title of the book is “The tragedy at Dien Bien Phu that led America into the Vietnam War.”

Setting the tone of his work, Morgan writes, This book is for the soldiers who were sent to die in battle by politicians who have never seen combat.”

To say the book is a ponderous read is an understatement, but it is well worth your while, because it answers many questions that we all have about that tortuous period in the history of this crazy world. It also answers questions that developed as I was reading Morgan’s wonderfully researched book.

If there ever was a well documented report against colonialism, this is the book you should certainly read. The disgusting arrogance displayed by the French government thousands of miles away from the scene of battle, and the gross negligence to the value of the lives of hundreds of brave French soldiers repeatedly thrown into the battle even after it was beyond salvation is beyond comprehension.

As I read the book I kept thinking about all the examples of colonialism gone bad that exist in the history of this planet, and it ties them all together as a misguided political adventure gone from bad to worse. Time after time the results of colonialism is death, destruction, upheaval to local inhabitants, financial ruin, financial gain for politically connected individuals, but long-term harm to the benefit and betterment of mankind.

I consider this to have been one of the more important books that I have ever read and I strongly suggest you consider placing it on your list of future reads. It proves beyond any doubt to this chronicler that politics all too frequently stinks, and I am beyond understanding how so many of our political leaders can ever look themselves in the mirror for what they have done to their fellow man.


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