Good Reading : October 2006
46 goodreading ı OCTOBER 2006 vietnam remembered Concert parties were a fixture in Vietnam. One of the most popular concert party entertainers was Melbourne television personality Patti McGrath. She is coaxing Private Peter Grehan to dance on stage with her at Nui Dat in October 1967. The original Australian response, a team of thirty advisers under Colonel FP ‘Ted’ Serong, was known simply as ‘the Team’. Members of the Team celebrate Christmas at Australia House, Da Nang, in 1965. In August this year Australia celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. And ‘celebrated’ is the operative word, as at long last the veterans of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War saw their service record duly praised – Long Tan was a spectacularly successful Australian oper- ation in the face of superior numbers – and received the thanks and apologies of their nation. Vietnam: Australia’s Ten Year War 1962–1972 by Richard Pelvin is a sensi- tive and moving tribute to the Australians, both conscripts and regular troops, who served in Vietnam.With more than 300 rarely seen photographs, both black and white and colour, historic maps, letters and diary entries, this magnificent book puts an intensely human face on the experi- ence of war. It also puts the Vietnam War, and Australia’s controversial involvement in it, into the context of the social history of the time. Pelvin spent many months researching the best photographs from the archives of the Australian War Memorial and other sources to compile this timely volume.