AMONG THE MANY INEQUITIES of the Vietnam War is the relative absence of personal testimony by the principal victims-- the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In part, that may be due to their lack of access to the sort of worldwide media apparatus with which the aggressor nation has propagated its self-centered and distorted perspective on the war and its aftermath.
But even if they did have the means to make their stories more widely known, it is far from certain that they would choose to do so. One reason is that the memories are so agonizing that for many, if not most, suppression has been a psychological survival strategy. There has also been a strong impulse among survivors not to burden the post-war generation with the suffering and misery of its predecessors.
But probably the most important factor has been the constraining effect of deeply ingrained cultural norms dictating modesty and reticence. Thus, for this important testimony is to be heard, it requires the mediation of a trusted outsider-- an essential service that Lady Borton is eminently suited to provide.
After Sorrow is a unique document with a selection of personal stories related by gentle but indomitable souls, mainly women, whom the author's own country chose to designate as enemies. By giving them a voice, Lady Borton has provided an invaluable service to everyone who is concerned about the fundamental issues associated with the U.S. war against the lands and peoples of Indochina.
Download PDF version
As the book is now regrettably out of print, extensive excerpts are reproduced here by permission of the author. It is available via the links below in PDF format* as a single document of 5.4 megabytes, or in five separate documents of maximum 1.1 megabytes:
Single document (5.4 MB)
Five separate documents
Part 1 (1.0 MB)
Part 2 (1.1 MB)
Part 3 (1.1 MB)
Part 4 (1.1 MB)
Part 5 (1.1 MB)
*PDF documents can be viewed and printed with Adobe Reader, a software program that is now standard in most computers; otherwise, it may be downloaded free of charge from the website of Adobe Systems. For additional guidelines on the use of Adobe Reader, see the book's introductory note on Viewing & Printing.
Note: Separate PDF documents can be combined into a single document with Acrobat, a program available for purchase from Adobe Systems. It should also be possible to view and print PDF documents directly, i.e. without downloading, in most web browsers; but the range of options for viewing and printing is usually limited.