Fifth Estate # 19, December 1-15, 1966

a review of
Vietnam! Vietnam! by Felix Greene, Fulton Publishing Co Hardcover $5.50, Softcover $2.95.

“Whatever the military outcome of the war in Vietnam, its moral outcome has already been decided…America has the ignominious role, whether she wins or loses.”

—Arnold Toynbee

In war-time, it is easy to forget about human beings. In the case of the war in Vietnam, this seems to be especially true. For those who sympathize with the war, pictures of torture and cruelty become commonplace (after all, war is hell). For those involved in opposing the war, heated arguments about slogans and feverish planning for mechanical demonstrations too often take precedence. We have all forgotten the Vietnamese and their humanity.

Felix Greene’s new book, Vietnam! Vietnam!, makes this forgetfulness painfully impossible. Through pictures and text, Greene directly and simply brings us up against the Vietnamese people as PEOPLE. The napalm, the torture of prisoners, the destruction, become more than violations of international law; they must be seen in their true nature as abominations of the essence of our humanity, as war crimes in the deepest and most intolerable sense.

Greene does not need elaborate descriptions to draw the frightening parallel between the United States and Nazi Germany; acknowledgement of this parallel is unavoidable after reading the book. Napalm serves as our crematorium; the Green Berets are our SS troops; Vietnam is our Auschwitz.


See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.