… engaging and well-written and more honest than Haase had to be …
HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos (2018)
It’s 1970. War rages in Viet-Nam, while intense, sometimes violent protests against it rage at home. Impelled to test his courage against that of his WWII hero father, college student David L. Haase arranges to study at the Buddhist University in Saigon. Detained on arrival and quickly deported from Viet-Nam, he searches for a way to get back in.
Instead, he stumbles into the secret CIA war next door in Laos. For the next two years, he witnesses the unraveling of the American politico-military strategy, the decimation of a primitive hill tribe people, and the destruction of a tiny jungle kingdom, all of which he laboriously records in limp, lined school notebooks each day. Those handwritten notes became this memoir of a young innocent abroad growing older and cynical.
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