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"The account is riveting, heart-pounding and mind-racing—just as the battle was for those who fought it…" — ARMY MagazineKeith Nightingale’s accomplishments in both military and civilian life largely contribute to the excellence of Just Another Day in Vietnam as a memoir of unusual depth as well as breadth.Uniquely adopting a third-person omniscient point of view, Nightingale eschews the “I” of memoir in favor of multiple perspectives and a larger historical vision that afford equal time and weight to ally and enemy alike. Examples of the many perspectives based on real-life characters include: Hu, a VC “informant” whose false information led the Rangers straight into the jaws of a ferocious ambush; General Tanh, the COSVN commander; Major Nguyen Hiep, the 52d Ranger Commander; and Ranger POWs later returned by the North.Nightingale moreover offers the point of view of an American advisor to elite Vietnamese troops, a vital perspective regrettably underrepresented in the literature of Vietnam, including Burns’ documentary. Added to this are well-informed conjecture of enemy psychology; insight into the dedication and often misunderstood role of the elite Vietnamese Ranger forces; the intelligence acquired from debriefing captured Rangers, whose captors had told them that the entire battle had been a carefully staged attack planned by COSVN as part of a larger Total War strategy developed by the leadership of the North Vietnamese Army; and an eyewitness account by a gifted author who is a rare survivor of one of the most vicious—and heretofore forgotten—battles of the war.
|5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
About the Author
Keith Nightingale was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1965 from Claremont McKenna College. He graduated from Airborne, Jumpmaster, and Ranger Schools and retired as a colonel in 1993. During that time he commanded four rifle companies, three battalions, and two brigades—all Airborne or Ranger units and some in combat. He served two tours in Vietnam, was part of the Iran hostage rescue attempt, commanded an assault force in Grenada, and managed the Department of Defense Interagency Counterdrug Task Force for Latin America from Panama. He was an original member of Joint Special Operations Command as well as a founding Plankholder for the 1st Ranger Battalion in 1974. After retiring from the military, he joined Science Applications International Corporation as Senior Corporate Vice President, managing over a thousand international contracts and security programs in the Middle East conflict zone. He presently serves as a consultant and advisor to several government personalities and organizations and conducts leadership seminars for several Fortune 500 companies. Col (Ret) Nightingale is a member of the 82nd Airborne and Ranger Halls of Fame.