Finding the Dragon Lady

Finding the Dragon Lady

The Mystery of Vietnam's Madame Nhu

Book - 2013
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"When Monique Demery set out to find the infamous Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu, the former First Lady of South Vietnam had been in exile for over forty years, and had lived in near seclusion for the last thirty of them. Entire books have been written about the consequences of that November coup: sorting out America's role and what effect it had on the coming war, but for the most part, historians were flummoxed by the Dragon Lady. Her hourglass figure filled and splash of color enlightened what were otherwise murky beginnings to a dismal war. And she gave Americans something to rally around, even if it was only to cheer against her. But little was heard from the woman herself. The last New York Times reporter who tried to get access to Madame Nhu in 1987 was turned away at the door and told she charged for interviews--one thousand dollars a pop. But somehow, through a mixture of patience, cunning, and a bit of luck, Demery managed to strike up a years-long relationship with the Dragon Lady and ultimately was entrusted with her diary and autobiography. This book is the story of that improbable connection and a deeper look at the woman who was feared and despised by so much of the world"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, 2013
ISBN: 9781610392815
1610392817
Characteristics: xi, 258 pages, 8 un-numbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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LPL_DanC Sep 24, 2015

If you are a history buff, or interested in true accounts of researchers tracking down mysterious, reclusive figures, this will be a page turner. Author Demery was always fascinated by Madame Nhu, who served as de facto first lady of South Vietnam during the presidency of her brother-in-law in the early 1960s. Demery locates Madame Nhu 50 years later, living in obscurity in a Paris apartment. This book tells the story of Demery's search, and what she learned about Madame Nhu's life before, during, and after the Vietnam War.

c
CRAIGEEJ
Sep 18, 2014

A great read talk about a woman of determination and the tiger skins alone were worth the read and they even threw in Beverly Hills. who'd a thunk it. But when your locked up in a dark room with your mother for months after your birth I guess you "HEAR" things.

r
Rock_Shadow
Nov 23, 2013

Though only president Diem’s sister-in-law, Madame Nhu was a driving force of the presidency, with her iron will, morality laws such as outlawing abortion, divorce, adultery, contraceptives, beauty pageants and more. I admire Demery for her tenacity in finding and interviewing the recluse Dragon Lady, and for bringing her story to the spotlight. Through Demery’s book I learned a lot more about why and how the Vietnam War started. The web of intimate details of the Vietnamese presidential family, of the influence of the American press, and of political intrigue both in Vietnam and in the US was well researched. Demery didn’t have a chance to truly get inside of Madame Nhu, but what she did find was amazing enough.

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