The Village War is the story of how dedicated insurgents, beginning from a zero power base in rural villages, built a revolutionary movement that ultimately defeated the South Vietnamese government and its ally, the United States.
The insurgents themselves—the Viet Cong—tell their story. They tell it through their numerous internal documents, interrogation reports of prisoners, interviews of defectors. Villagers contribute to the saga of this power struggle with their eye-witness accounts.
Robert Andrews, the sole American with a team of six South Vietnamese, traveled on foot through the villages of the Upper Mekong Delta from 1964-1965. For weeks at a time, he and his team lived in villages, interviewing cross sections of village society.
From his experiences, Andrews came to believe that the Viet Cong insurgents were successful, not because of force or terror, but because they understood better than the South Vietnamese or Americans the complex webs of cultural, social, and economic dynamics in the rural villages.
You’d hardly think it would be relevant today, but it is very much so, as the same applies to Afghanistan today.
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