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A Dangerous Friend (1999)
by Ward Just
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 061805670X, Paperback)Ward Just, a former war correspondent, uses his intimate knowledge of Vietnam to advantage in this exploration of America's tangled relations with that small Southeast Asian country. Set in 1965, the last year that civilians were in control of foreign intervention, A Dangerous Friend chronicles the lives of a small band of aid workers who purport to administer financial and technical assistance to the Vietnamese; unknown to most, however, the Llewellyn Group is actually covertly linked to the Pentagon. Though told by a nameless narrator, the protagonist of this story is Sydney Parade, an idealistic American who abandons wife and child in order to help bring democracy to the third world:
We worked harder than we had ever worked in our lives, or would ever work again. We were drunk on work. Work was passion. We were in it for the long haul, and from the beginning we swam upstream.Sydney arrives in Vietnam filled with altruistic purpose, but all too soon he finds himself up to his neck in dangerous intrigue. The head of the Llewellyn Group, Dicky Rostok, is trolling for information, and he uses Sydney's connections with a French planter and his American-born wife to further his own agenda. Despite the best of intentions, Sydney unwittingly becomes the source of information that will eventually lead to death, betrayal, and ruin. In A Dangerous Friend Ward Just conveys the depth of America's misunderstanding of the situation in Vietnam even as he illustrates how idealism unleavened by knowledge can be a perilous thing, indeed. --Alix Wilber
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:30 -0400)
An idealistic political scientist abandons his family to bring progress to 1965 Vietnam, only to wreck havoc with people's lives. Sydney Parade of Connecticut is unaware that the foundation employing him is a front for the Pentagon. By the author of Echo House.
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