On 4 October, the Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs cooperated with the city Department of Culture and Sports held a ceremony to introduce the book “From Enemies to Partners: Viet Nam, the US and Agent Orange” of authors Le Ke Son and Charles Bailey to Vietnamese readers after nearly four years of work.
Dr. Le Ke Son and Charles Bailey at the introduction ceremony
The 258-page book, which was released in English by the Publisher G. Anton in the US in early 2018, and in Vietnamese by the World Publishing House in Viet Nam in August, is the result of endless efforts by the two authors in seeking documents and interviewing AO victims, officials, veterans and local people in Viet Nam and the US.
“It’s been long and hard working days for two of us. We just try to tell the story of dioxin and AO victims as well as the disastrous consequences of the toxic chemical,” Dr. Le Ke Son said at the introduction ceremony.
Dr. Le Ke Son, who worked for the Viet Nam National Steering Committee for Agent Orange Impact Relief, said Agent Orange/dioxin was a point of bitterness between the US and Viet Nam in the past, but the two sides have come closer together in dealing with dioxin contamination in the former Da Nang US airbase. He said many efforts had been made by both sides to ease the harmful effects of herbicides containing dioxin and to help AO/dioxin victims.
Charles Bailey, an advisor on AO in Viet Nam, said: “We thought we could write the book in 18 months but it took three years. We wanted our book to be a complete and comprehensive source of information on Agent Orange/dioxin. We believe we have achieved this. The US and Viet Nam have made a start on addressing the Agent Orange/ dioxin legacy. Our book provides a reference point and guidelines to make sure the two countries finish the job.”