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Friday, April 23, 2021

Who Speaks for Those Who Died in Leaky Boats?

Hundreds of books and innumerable articles have been written, and many popular movies have been made, about the people who died when Vietnam became a battleground between the American forces and the communist guerrilla army. But we rarely hear the story of those who died while trying to flee Vietnam after the communists vanquished the Americans and took control of the country. In his book Carnage and Culture, Victor Davis Hanson writes: “A communist victory brought more death and even greater dislocation to the Vietnamese than did decades of war—more often slowly by starvation, incarceration, and flight, rather than by outright mass murder… Exact numbers are in dispute, but most scholars accept that well over 1 million left by boat; and hundreds of thousands of others crossed by land into neighboring Thailand and even China…. Those who died in leaky boats or in storms numbered between 50,000 and 100,000…”

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