In time for the 45th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and in the style of his bestselling book Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation, John Boyko brings to light the little-known story of Canada's involvement in the American War in Vietnam.
Through the lens of six remarkable participants in the Vietnam War, some well-known, others obscure, bestselling historian John Boyko recounts Canada's often-overlooked involvement in that conflict as peacemaker, combatant and provider of sanctuary.
When Brigadier General Sherwood Lett arrived in Vietnam over a decade before American troops, he and the Canadians under his command risked their lives trying to enforce an unstable peace while questioning whether they were American lackeys--or handmaidens to a new war. As American battleships steamed across the Pacific, Canadian diplomat Blair Seaborn was meeting secretly in Hanoi with North Vietnam's prime minister; if Seaborn could convince the Americans to accept his roadmap to peace, those ships could be turned around before war began. Claire Culhane worked in a Canadian hospital in Vietnam and then returned home to implore Canadians to stop supporting what she demed an immoral war. Joe Erickson was among 30,000 young Americans who evaded the draft by heading north; Doug Carey was among 20,000 Canadians heading the other way to fight. Rebecca Trinh and her family fled Saigon and joined the waves of desperate Indochinese refugees, thousands of whom forged new lives in Canada.
Through these wide-ranging and fascinating accounts, Boyko exposes what he calls the Devil's wiliest trick: convincing leaders that war is desirable, the public that it's acceptable and combatants that what they are doing and seeing is normal, or at least necessary. In uncovering Canada's side of the story, he reveals the many secret and forgotten ways that Canada not only fought the Vietnam War but was shaped by its lies and consequences.
JOHN BOYKO is the author of seven previous books, including the bestselling Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation, and the critically acclaimed Cold Fire: Kennedy's Northern Front, which was a finalist for the John W. Dafoe Book Prize. Hailed by the Globe and Mail as "a distinguished scholar of Canadian political history," Boyko has earned degrees from McMaster, Queen's and Trent universities, contributes op-eds to newspapers across the country and entries for the Canadian Encyclopedia, while appearing on radio and television discussing historical and current political issues. Boyko lives in Lakefield, Ontario.