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Hammer, Richard: One Morning In The War: The Tragedy At Son My. Book Review, Includes Biography Information About Author. 2 Sources Besides Book Included

2453 words - 10 pages

Richard Hammer was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. He attended Syracuse University where he received his A.B. in 1950, Trinity College in Hartford where he received his M.A. in 1951, and Columbia University as a graduate student from 1951-53. Hammer was a news assistant with the National Broadcasting Co., an associate editor for Barron's Weekly and Fortune, and from 1963-1972, he was on the editorial staff for the New York Times. Hammer has written several investigative books on a variety of topics. Shortly after he wrote this book about Son My, he wrote The Court Martial of Lieutenant Calley, in 1971. Hammer is the author-narrator of the film, "Interviews with My Lai Veterans." As a reporter for the New York Times, Hammer wrote many articles concerning the war in Vietnam.Hammer researched this book in both Vietnam and here in America by interviewing both the Vietnamese survivors and the soldiers involved. The book was written less than two years after the incident, while the conflict in Vietnam was still occurring. He explains that his drive concerning the matter of My Lai was to discover exactly how such a thing could occur, not necessarily who was to blame. The book reviewer for Time Magazine reviewed both Hammer's book and another book, My Lai 4, by Seymour Hersh in the same article in Time. He stated how both books jive with one another in regards to the information contained in them about the My Lai incident. The reviewer also states that both books are based on first hand accounts, which lead to more accurate details.Hammer begins by explaining that he must delve into the events prior to the massacre in order to explain the massacre that happened on the morning of March 16, 1968. He takes the reader to a beautiful, peaceful village on the Batangan Peninsula in Vietnam called Son My. Many wealthy Vietnamese and French came to this area to vacation. Even though visitors came to their beautiful area, the Vietnamese tried to keep away outside influence as much as possible. They were a self-sufficient people who relied on fishing and agriculture for their needs. These pheasants did not truly care about who happened to be ruling over them. The governments in charge of these people changed often, but the people all stayed the same. The only thing that changed for these people when the government changed was the tax collectors. Sometimes they were greedy and took bribes and sometimes they were not. In the long run, the people didn't really care. They just carried on as they always had.What is called a village in Vietnam is actually more like a county and is spread out over a fairly large area. In 1945, the Viet Minh divided the village of Son My into 4 hamlets or 4 different parts. Within these hamlets there were 20 subhamlets or townships (See diagram below).Son MyMy Lai Co Luy My Khe Tu CungMy Khe/Kho Truang My Hoi/My Xuam/Xuam Duong Cuong Dinh/Dinh Denh/Cay Quen Xom Lang/Phung Hoa/Binh DongDang De/Con Thieu Xuam Tung/Xuam Cua An...

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