A NATION OF SHEEP by William J. Lederer


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Co-author with Eugene Burdick of The Ugly American, Lederer here supplies some of the evidence behind the stories in that impressive and frightening record of American diplomacy and foreign aid in operation in southeast Asia. This is an appalling indictment on every level:- governmental -- military --diplomatic -- economic -- operational. The press and other media of communication do not escape. But in final analysis, the blame is the gullibility, the apathy, the indifference of the great American public -- ""the nation of sheep"". We are fed misinformation, by government, by the press. We are headline readers -- and fail to read through to the kernel of the news which able correspondents may have cloaked in hearsay and indirection. In this book, Lederer reveals the kinds of frauds we have swallowed whole:- the Laos fraud, the facts we are not told about Formosa, about Korea, about Thailand. We like to think that people are enjoying a better life because our millions have been poured into their lands - so we are told that is so. We don't hear about the graft and greed at top level, the untouched poverty at the base; we don't hear about dissatisfaction with the governments we support, about the fallacy of reasoning related to the foreign student program, the deliberate lies fed us under guise of translation of interviews. Government for almost a decade by misinformation, no information, secrecy where it cloaked inadequacies, has produced gigantic waste and mismanagement of our foreign aid program. Unless we, the people, insist on a change, take action personally to follow through, southeast Asia will be another area lost to Communism.... Absorbing and terrifying reading, this may meet the charge of being one-sided to the point of fanaticism. But fanaticism is often what is needed to electrify the world, when it is almost too late.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1961
Publisher: Norton