THE TRAITORS by John Briley


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Red, white and blue, black, brown and saffron--the war in Vietnam fought out and talked out in a fairly obvious fashion along with the blatant inevitables of GI prose. As seen through a particular outfit which includes two Negroes, a young Southerner, a Jew and a Catholic along with some of the Vietnamese in whose hands they fall. (Those of the women attendants who cook and shave them are softer.) Once captured, they are given the official party line that everything will be gung-Ho if they cooperate. And except for the initial long marches and privation they are pretty well treated and have plenty of time to discuss their positions: whether it's Janowitz's justification of democracy as the best system we have or that of Evans who opposes many uncertainties. He also initiates the (potentially treasonable) stop-the-war action which he hopes will effect its quicker termination. . . . The improbable attempt aside--Mr. Briley, however worthy his intentions and his fuller explanations of presumably pacific intent, leaves a few vestigial bugaboos behind: how come that nice Negro Specialist Fifth George Hill is always dreaming about white women?

Pub Date: July 10th, 1969
Publisher: Putnam