IN SOUTH VIETNAM -- 1968

These interviews are part of a large number conducted in South Viet Nam
in the course of researching a book on the development of the communist 
revolutionary movement since 1954 in Long An province of the Mekong Delta.
The transcripts and other primary source documents were deposited with the
Center for Research Libraries, Chicago for general public availability.  

The interviews were conducted with two purposes in mind: to reveal 
certain historical points about the development of the movement and about
government responses; and to reveal the attitudes and judgments of certain 
typical individuals involved on both sides.   Interviews thus include all 
the province chiefs of Long An from 1953 through 1968 (except for three
individuals who each held the position for less than three months); 
communist defectors of various ranks; village- and hamlet-level officials;
and American advisors.   Certain other individuals not in these categories 
were also interviewed.

The interviews vary from fascinating to boring, as I have tried to indicate
in a short introduction to each one.  Two interviews of major historical 
interest are those with Vo van An, full member of the Tay Ninh province 
committee until his defection in 1965, and Tran van Bo, deputy secretary 
of the interprovince committee for western Nam Bo until his capture in 1962.

In retrospect I think that in a number of interviews some of the 
questioning was misdirected, for example where I pressed for answers in 
some of the early interviews to such questions as "What do you think is 
the significance of elections?"  Such questions were a residue from my 
academic training in political science, which I found, not soon enough 
unfortunately, to be mostly irrelevant and absurdly out of place in rural
Viet Nam.   Nevertheless all the material is included.  

The reader should refer to the accompanying map for assistance in 
locating the various areas where the interviews were conducted.   A 
collection of captured communist documents accompanying this interview 
series parallels many of the points touched on in the questioning.   The 
forthcoming book based on these materials should also serve to clarify some 
of the points raised in the interviews and to state my own interpretation 
of events as revealed both in the documents and in the interviews.

Finally I would like to add that I have a large pile of scribbled notes 
and background materials relating to these interviews which I would be 
pleased to draw upon for any interested person.   Inquiries should be 
addressed to 

  Jeffrey Race,  20 Chester Street,  Somerville MA 02144

Bangkok                                                February 1969

 [Slightly edited for purposes of web publication in February 2004]


Province chiefs of Long An

Ho van Si		1953-1955	Currently retired
Phuong Tuat Tai		1955-1956	Currently retired
Bui van Ba		1956		Currently Secretary
					 General, Ministry of Welfare
Mai Ngoc Duoc		1957-1961	Currently retired
Nguyen Viet Thanh 	1961-1963	Currently Commanding
					 General, IV Corps
Pham Anh		1964-1966	Currently Deputy Minister,
					 Chieu Hoi
Nguyen van Nguu		1966-		Incumbent

Central government officials and candidates

Nguyen Be	  Commandant, National Training Center for RD Cadre
Do Thien Mo	  District Chief, Ben Luc, 1966-1968
Nguyen van Suong  Member of Long An provincial council; lower 
                   house candidate
Tran van Suong	  Deputy District Chief for administration, Can Duoc
Truong van Trang  Lower house candidate, 1967

Local government officials

Tran van Chac	  Formerly chief of Go Den village, Ben Luc district
Ha Chi		  Chief of Bo Kinh hamlet, Thu Thua district
Van Cong Chuoc	  Commander of popular force outpost, Long Huu, Can Duoc
Doan van Cung	  Formerly chief of interfamily group, Bo Kinh hamlet
Nguyen van Mau	  Chief of Luong Hoa village, Ben Luc district
Nguyen van No     Chief of Binh Thanh village, Thu Thua district
Nguyen van Ben	  Chief of Ap Chua hamlet, Binh Thanh village
Tran van Thanh	  Chairman of Farmers' Association, Long Huu, Can Duoc

Communist defectors

Vo van An	  Member of Tay Ninh province committee
Tran van Bo	  Deputy secretary, interprovince committee for 
		   western Nam Bo
Nguyen van Cu	  Secretary of Ai Ngai village, Binh Phuoc district
Truong Minh Duc	  Youth cadre, Ben Thu district
Dang van Phep	  District committee member from Dinh Tuong province
Pham van Toai	  Province cadre from Camau

American advisors

Walter Deyerle	  Thu Thua district
Gerald Winkler    Can Duoc district
Robert Wyer	  Ben Luc district
James A. Herbert  Long An province