Friday, March 7, 2014

Finding the Dragon Lady

Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam's Madam Nhu
by Monique Brinson Demery
Public Affairs, 2013. 280 pgs. Biography

While I always enjoy books on history, biographies and the Vietnam War era is particularly fascinating, he thing that drew me to this book was the cover. Fabulous! In this book the author alternates between her quest for and on-and-off-again telephone conversations with the mysterious Madame Nhu and a brisk and lively account of Nhu's life in Vietnam. As the sister-in-law to the head of state of South Vietnam, Madam Nhu acted as de facto First Lady of her nation and courted controversy both at home and abroad. The author does a good job portraying the humanity of her subject while still being honest about the merits underpinning her notorious reputation. I would recommend this to anyone fascinated by history with a greater emphasis on individuals rather than broader conflicts or events.


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