Biet Dong and the National Liberation Front
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 06/28/2022
Southern Voices: Biet Dong and the National Liberation Front presents oral histories from former members of an elite squad of Viet Cong operatives, focusing on their experiences during what is known, in Vietnam, as the American War. Author Michael Robert Dedrick conducted interviews with eight former Biet Dong (the equivalent of Ranger or Special Forces divisions in the US military) and sheds new light on this clandestine group.
Best known for their role in the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Biet Dong in the south were organized units hiding in plain sight. Members included farmers, tradespeople, agents, spies, monks, students, intellectuals, and journalists—both young and old, men and women. They were highly patriotic, politically motivated, and very secretive, operating in three-person cells under aliases. Their voices and experiences emerge in this bilingual volume.
In recent years, historians have made greater use of Vietnamese primary sources and transformed the study of one of the twentieth century's most controversial conflicts. Ably curated by Dedrick—who also offers his own perspectives as a veteran and peace activist—the firsthand accounts in Southern Voices add a new layer to the history of the Vietnam War and its aftermath.
History of Biet Dong
Saigon Gia Dinh Committee
Tu Cang, NLF Senior Officer
Bay Son, Biet Dong Senior Officer
Nguyen Huu Loi, Biet Dong Soldier
Ms. Le Hong Quan, NLF Soldier
Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Nga, Biet Dong Soldier
Ms. Do Thi Kim Lien, Biet Dong Soldier
Nguyen Duc Hoa, Biet Dong Soldier
Muio Than, NLF Soldier
Ba Den Biography
The Biet Dong and PLAF Narratives in Vietnamese
With all the emphasis on big unit warfare and the role of North Vietnamese forces that dominates American perspectives on the war, it is easy to forget that the backbone of the revolution in the south—in many ways its secret weapon—was ordinary, lower class individuals like these Biet Dong.~William Turley, professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University
After the victory of 1975, the vital contributions of southern revolutionary nationalists were systematically marginalized in historical accounts since they stood in the way of simplistic US and RVN narratives of a binary conflict, as well as threatened to weaken the northern-based triumphalist claims of the VCP. This book with rare materials on the Biet Dong will help correct this long-imbalanced historical record.~Christoph Giebel, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington
Through Mike Dedrick's Southern Voices at last we can experience the commitment, rigorous discipline, and breadth of the Southern revolutionaries' resistance.~Lady Borton, author of Beyond Sorrow
Most Americans know the war in Vietnam only through U.S.-centered narratives. Vietnamese narratives—and especially the stories of everyday people who participated in what they believed to be their country's liberation—have much too often been overlooked. Michael Dedrick's Southern Voices is thus a welcome book. In its pages, readers discover the accounts of Biet Dong soldiers who put their lives on the line to resist the American invasion. It is difficult not to be moved by the hardships and tragedies they endured.~Scott Laderman, professor of history at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and author of Tours of Vietnam: War, Travel Guides, and Memory