Friday, September 22, 2017

BookReview - Racing Back to Vietnam: A Journey in War and Peace

Before I talk about this book, I would like to appreciate author John Pendergrass' efforts not just by writing this book but for surviving the bloody war. I avoid biographies or memoirs due to the boring way it is presented to readers. (or maybe I found it boring). But "Racing Back to Vietnam: A Journey in War and Peace" was content-wise nicely formatted which can make readers stick to the last page.

Book Blurb
In 1971, John Pendergrass was seated in the back of an F-4 Phantom, racing across the skies of Vietnam as a United States Air Force flight surgeon. Forty-five years later, Pendergrass boards an altogether different type of airplane and heads to Vietnam for an altogether different kind of race. A veteran of IRONMAN triathlons on every inhabited continent, Racing Back to Vietnam follows Pendergrass as he returns to Vietnam in more ways than one--revisiting a country that, for him, is bound up in a complicated mess of memory and emotion. 
Book or I would say story started with the author being sent to Vietnam as the flight surgeon. He was in Air Force and in Vietnam he was stationed at Da Nag a war sensitive area. Enemy territory was not far from the area where rocket attacks were common. Each chapter in the first half of the book shows different situation or mission or problem of a person going through war. As a doctor, the author was expected to do his medical duty but being an adventurous and fearless personality he also served as co-pilot on war missions.

The reason behind the "Racing to Back" in the title was not only memories of wartime, but the author re-visited Vietnam once again after 40 years. He revisited areas he once knew or visited during the war.

Following things were covered in book apart from authors life
  • Background of Vietnam War - In this section starting from end of Korean war to beginning and end of Vietnam war many things were covered in details.
  • The strategy of the USA in Vietnam war - The author has strongly shown weak strategy token by the USA in Vietnam war. Apart from that, many personalities (strong/weak/corrupt) were mentioned.
  • Social Conditions & Colonization Impact on Vietnam - The author has shown the impact of French drug cartel. 
  • USA's fight against drug cartel and black market syndicate
  • Life of a soldier in war. Starting from daily life to spiritual to physical & psychological issues were covered.
  • The situation of "Prisoner of war" person or family of "Dead in Action" were mentioned.
  • Comparison of lifestyle of Vietnamese during war and after 40 years
  • Division of old Vietnam into multiple small countries having different way of governing principal
Ideal gift for
  • Those who love to read war-related books
  • Those who love to read traveling / Adventure / Sport book
A wonderful book covering war era & current era of Vietnam. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Overall - 3.75/5
Book can be found at - Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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