Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam
With an introduction by Noam Chomsky
Scorched Earth is the first book to chronicle the effects of chemical warfare on the Vietnamese people and their environment, where, even today, more than 3 million people—including 500,000 children—are sick and dying from birth defects, cancer, and other illnesses that can be directly traced to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure.
Weaving first-person accounts with original research, Vietnam War scholar Fred A. Wilcox examines long-term consequences for future generations, laying bare the ongoing monumental tragedy in Vietnam, and calls for the United States government to finally admit its role in chemical warfare in Vietnam. Wilcox also warns readers that unless we stop poisoning our air, food, and water supplies, the cancer epidemic in the United States and other countries will only worsen, and he urgently demands the chemical manufacturers of Agent Orange to compensate the victims of their greed and to stop using the Earth's rivers, lakes, and oceans as toxic waste dumps.
"To our everlasting shame, current controversy over the Vietnam war focuses on the question 'Could we have won?' The real question should be 'What have we done?' Focusing on one central element, chemical warfare, Wilcox's harrowing study spells out the record with shattering clarity, relying on personal testimony, visual imagery, and cold fact. No decent person can fail to be appalled, or to be inspired to do we can to help the victims: the suffering people and the ravaged land." —Noam Chomsky
"Scorched Earth sears the conscience through a gifted writer's devotion to justice." —Dick Hughes, Shoeshine Boys Project-Vietnam
"For as long as I've known Fred Wilcox his name has almost been synonymous with the effects of Agent Orange. Over those years, his grief has become a passion for justice to the countless victims of this devastating herbicide, or 'instrument of chemical warfare.' Scorched Earth is a masterpiece emerging from his suffering with others all these years … May Fred's work bear fruit in a more enlightened American populace that says a resounding "NO!" to further experimental munitions creating further victims of war." —Elizabeth McAllister
"This short, haunting book proves that the crimes of war don't end when the fighting stops … While many of us know how our Vietnam vets suffered from Agent Orange exposure, finally we have a lucid book on the ongoing misery inflicted on Vietnamese. Americans need to read this book, get angry, and take action." —Jeff Cohen, author of Cable News Confidential and founder of FAIR
About Fred A. Wilcox
FRED A. WILCOX has been researching, writing about, and teaching courses on the Vietnam War for the past thirty years. An Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate, he has published articles on chemical warfare, environmental activism, mental health, trauma, and addiction, and has appeared on 100+ radio and television programs as a trusted authority among veterans and academics alike on the Vietnam War and its aftereffects. He is the author of Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange and Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam. He currently teaches at Ithaca College.