Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The English version of the historical-non-fiction book Biên Bản Chiến Tranh 1-2-3-4.75 (A War Account 1-2-3-4.75) by journalist-writer Trần Mai Hạnh recently hit bookshelves in Hà Nội and HCM City.
The 500-page book, published by the National Political Publishing House, has literary and historical value, with authentic documents, considered highly classified at the time by the Republic of Việt Nam (the Sài Gòn administration) and the United States of America.
The writer has also quoted in the book documents associated with important events of the country in a precise and reliable manner. The book recounts and depicts accurately and in a lively manner the fall of the Sài Gòn administration with Nguyễn Văn Thiệu as its president in the last four months of the American war -- from January to the end of April 1975.
Besides the speech of Nguyễn Văn Thiệu before his resignation, 20 other reference documents included in the annex are top-secret documents related to the war issued by the Republic of Việt Nam and the United States.
These documents, dating more that 40 years ago, are from original documents collected from the study and residence of Nguyễn Văn Thiệu at the Presidential Palace, and the study of General Cao Văn Viên, chief of general staff of the Sài Gòn armed forces, at his headquarters on April 30, 1975.
Open up history: Cover of A War Account 1-2-3-4. 75 by journalist Trần Mai Hạnh
The presentation, abbreviations and English sentences used in these documents have been kept intact in comparison with the original documents. At the end of each chapter, reliable sources of the documents are cited by the author.
The Vietnamese version Biên Bản Chiến Tranh was first published in early April 2014. Since then it has been reprinted thrice in large numbers.
In the same year the book won the Literature Award by the Việt Nam Writers’ Association and then the Southeast Asia (SEA) Writers Award 2015.
The book was translated by Mạnh Chương and edited by foreign and Vietnamese English language experts of translation company Metro Writers.
“When Hạnh asked me to translate his 500-page book within four months, I hesitated at first as it was too long,” translator Chương told Việt Nam News. “Yet, when I began reading it, I sometimes spent a whole night engrossed in translation as it was too difficult to resist."
“The writer has reflected the historical moments so vividly through the materials he gathered. I think it’s a unique historic non-fiction book of the time, which no one else has presented in this way,” he added.
The book is available at bookshops of the National Political Publishing House and shops offering foreign-language books in Hà Nội and HCM City at VNĐ460,000 (or US$20). — VNS