||Patriot Media Inc, Pulishing
OSS in the China Burma Theater of War--WWII. Political intrigue, military action, romance ... all roled into historical settings and real people and events.
Patriot Media--Mead's Trek
Truong Buu Lam review
Mead's Trek Reviewed By Truong Buu Lam Of Bookpleasures.com
Reviewer: Truong Buu Lam: Dr. Lam earned his Doctorate in History from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Belgium many years ago. He has since taught history of Southeast Asia at several Colleges et Universities in Vietnam and the USA. He has authored a few works on Vietnamese history. He is now retired and the last affiliation was the University of Hawaii.
Author: Tom Gauthier Publisher: Patriot Media, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-9846638-0-4
Mead's Trek revives convincingly and well nigh accurately the period covering the end of World War II in Southeast Asia, particularly in what was known at that time as French Indochina. In this historical novel, agents of the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S) and other American officials interacted with the Vichy French government of Indochina, the Japanese army of occupation, the Chinese officers of Chiang Kai Shek and the Viet Minh, a Vietnamese anti-fascist, anti-colonial and pro-independence movement fostered by the Communist Party of Indochina.
We learn that Mead's Trek originated during a meeting in Washington D.C. between President Roosevelt and his close friend William Donovan, the OSS Chief. They both knew well about Amos Mead as an agent who had accomplished a few feats against Nazi Germany. The aim of the present assignment is to unravel the competing political and intelligence activities in the war theater conducted by men with a variety of motives – not all in America’s interests. The assignment was also to defuse a plot allegedly concocted by the Vice President of the USA who had his own designs over the destiny of post war French Indochina, destiny that did not fully conform with what President Roosevelt had in mind for the same area.
Amos Mead and his teammates started their trek out of Hickam Field, Hawaii en route to Southeast Asia or southern China, via Funifuti Atoll, Brisbane, Darwin, Australia, India. Their aircraft, unarmed, was shot down by a Japanese patrol plane; they bailed out and landed on the bank of the Irrawaddy River in Burma. By sheer coincidence, they hooked up with members of the Burmese anti-fascist league, then with the Free Thai (Seri). Finally, after combat with Japanese elements and the loss of some of his men, Mead reached the OSS headquarters in Kunming, China. There he learned that the Vice President was not the person who was behind the plot, but a certain spiritual "guru" of the VP, named Roerig, whose description reminds us of Rasputin of the last Tsar of Russia.
Things move fast now. As they left Kunming and as soon as they crossed over to the Vietnamese territory, they were joined immediately by Vietnamese guides who, with dexterity and competence, led them to a hut in the middle of a small village. In the bare but clean abode, it took a short, disorienting moment for the men to adjust to the dim light. As they did the form of a tiny man lying on a woven grass mat, propped on a gaily colored woven pillow that provided the only color in the room, became the center of their focus. They were in the presence of Ho Chi Minh, a small brown man with the wisp of a beard on his wan chin, the leader of the Communist Party of Indochina, who, in spite of being sick with high fever, insisted on welcoming the American OSS men to Vietnam. Aided by Ho's organisation, the Americans were able to reach their ultimate goal of penetrating into the Palace of the Governor General of Indochina where, because of an unexpected circumstance, they were about to be made prisoners by Japanese guards when American bombers blasted parts of the palace thereby freeing the prisoners-to-be. The novel ends on the tarmac of Hickam Field in Honolulu: the Mead's trek participants came home, some in caskets, some on stretchers, none walking unaided.
An epilogue reminds us compellingly of the "historical fiction" nature of the book: in less than five pages, the author recounts the history of post World War II US-Vietnamese relations and shows how "ignorance, mistrust and misunderstanding, begun by President Truman, virtually ignored by President Eisenhower, and driven to heights of political insanity by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, finally spills out of the jungle bowels of the tiny country, culminating in the needless deaths of over fifty eight thousands American soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors." (p. 310)
On the whole, this book deserves the attention of all the people who like historical novels. The author has done his homework concerning the events that occurred in Southeast Asia toward the end of World War Two. He is familiar with all the popular movements existing in each of the countries his characters passed through and, especially for Vietnam, he shows plainly the particular circumstances that allowed him to draw the conclusions he did in his epilogue. All that detailed information is cleverly woven into a suspenseful adventure combined with a budding romance which titillates our mind and warms our heart.
Lis Wiehl, FOX NEWS
Gauthier weaves a compelling story of intrigue,action and romance.
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