A Letter From The Publisher, May 5, 1975

For TIME'S correspondents in Saigon, the public apprehension and spidery, semisecret political maneuvering that followed President Thieu's resignation last week had a certain grim familiarity. To Roy Rowan, the scene was eerily reminiscent of Shanghai in 1949 during the collapse of the Chiang Kai-shek regime which he covered for LIFE. "The same gnawing fear that gripped Shanghai has taken hold in Saigon," Rowan cabled last week. "You saw the same scenes: inflation requiring shopping bags full of paper money, wailing police sirens, and the endless debate among correspondents about whether to stay or leave."

William McWhirter, who reported from Viet Nam during...

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