ON THE OTHER SIDE: 23 Days with the Viet Cong by Kate Webb

ON THE OTHER SIDE: 23 Days with the Viet Cong

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A direct, unexceptional, apolitical, autobiographical report of a British UPI correspondent's three-week captivity by the Cambodian Liberation Armed Forces. Miss Webb, 28 at the time, merits high marks for keeping her head together under some enervating circumstances -- from the beginning when, following the American incursion of Cambodia down Highway Four, she and five compatriots were captured by the L.A.F. to the nerve-racking repatriation. In between there were continuous fears of summary death, sporadic interrogations and worriment about signing a statement acknowledging American war atrocities (she had witnessed some), forced marches through the jungle (""di di"" -- keep moving), infestation by body crabs, derisive comments by the guards about Webb's big feet and general physique (at 5'7"" she dwarfed her captors), and embarrassment over lack of Tampax. But overall the reporters received courteous and dignified treatment, including adequate medical attention and nourishing food; and there were no salacious attempts on Webb's body (she marvels at the soldiers' ""incredible discipline"" which was ""always there, protective and isolating""). Webb writes well enough to keep her press card and, while her memoir contains no special insights and lacks her own spunk, it deserves a temporary niche in the literature of endurance.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1972
Publisher: Quadrangle