Viet Nam: Girls Under Fire

In war and in peace, women have stood staunchly beside Viet Nam's menfolk for nearly 2,000 years. Sometimes, they have stood in front. Still celebrated are the two Trung sisters who mounted elephants to lead a revolt against Chinese overlords in 40 A.D. More recently, Madame Nhu carried the banner in Saigon toward the end of the Diem regime and thought it only proper that her sloe-eyed daughter, Le Thuy, receive a pistol for her 18th birthday.

The better to shoot Viet Cong with, declared Madame Nhu, who knew only too well the...

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