Last Plane Out of Saigon
Richard Pena, author
In 1973, sixty-one days after the Paris Peace Accords was signed specifying that American troops must withdraw from Vietnam—one day beyond the terms of the agreement—Richard Pena, was among the final handful of Americans to leave the country. LAST PLANE OUT OF SAIGON is a faithful reproduction of the journal he kept as a draftee working in the operating room of Vietnam's largest military hospital during the final year of the war. Supporting historical and political context is provided by award-winning scholar, John Hagan. Richard’s entries were written in real time and, as they chronicle the last desperate year of this tragic war, present readers with a better understanding of the complicated final year of the Vietnam War from the inside, looking out. A year that tragically remains unfamiliar to most Americans. This landmark book describes, in part, the hasty departure of American troops from Vietnam but is timely now as America again withdraws from war and is challenged with multiple global conflicts. It is a gripping real-time account of the anger, resistance and resilience forged in one man by the horrors of Vietnam witnessed up close, in graphically human terms, touching on mistakes that were made then and which our country continues to make today. The reader will feel the weight of this compelling account, as the Vietnam War continues to plague the consciousness of our country. All Americans should read this important piece of history, bound to leave them with chills. Richard Pena served in Vietnam as an Operating Room Specialist for the United States Army and left on the last day of American withdrawal. He is now a nationally renowned practicing attorney in Austin, Texas. He is a former President of the American Bar Foundation and State Bar of Texas and served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. John Hagan is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University and Co-Director of the Center of Law & Globalization at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago. He has published nine books and more than 150 articles in nationally renowned magazines and journals.