The story of a small group of veterans, scientists, and pacifists who forced the U.S. government to take responsibility for the horrors inflicted on the Vietnamese with unexploded munitions and the toxic defoliant Agent Orange.
Black focuses his attention largely on Vietnam’s Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces along the Laotian border, home to a vital stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Trail ... Black presents an efficient military and political history. Readers well versed in the ample scholarship on the war years might find much of this material familiar, but Black’s immersion in a particular human geography — his attunement to aspects of terrain, climate, flora and fauna, as well as to the people’s intimate relationship to the land — brings home the enormity of the destruction anew ... In his fascinating description of life on the perilous Ho Chi Minh Trail, Black includes a vignette about a North Vietnamese porter.
George Black’s reporting for The Long Reckoning is deep and wide — he made nine trips to Vietnam and the result is a meticulously reported, extraordinary account ... An inspiring epilogue to the Vietnam tragedy.