My childhood was spent in a highly politicised and very much left-centre environment. Weekend breakfasts at our house involved shouting matches about Mujib’s decisions in 1971, or Khaled-Taher-Zia in 1975, or the Menon-Motia split in 1967, or about the best way to oppose Ershad, or the Soviet role in Afghanistan, or whether Bangladesh could have been a Vietnam had the Indians not intervened.
I never paid much attention to the Vietnam War until we moved overseas. Suddenly, Vietnam was everywhere. Platoon, Rambo 1 and 2, Born on the 4th of July, and Full Metal Jacket came out within a few years of each other. Tour of Duty was a big hit on the TV. A -Team and MacGyver had Vietnam backstories. There were lots of Vietnam related songs, from Born in the USA to Khe Sanh.
I lapped up the pop culture, but somehow never got into the War itself. I knew the broad outline of the conflict of course, from the Viet Minh and Dien Bien Bhu to the Tet Offensive and Agent Orange. But somehow, until now, I hadn’t read a serious book on the conflict. It’s changing now. More on that, later. For now, enjoy Jimmi.
(Thanks NM for getting me interested)