A Thousand Tears Falling by Yung Krall

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MWSA Review

A View Not Seen by Vietnam Veterans Before…. There are some books that are so important that they act as a kind of “rosette stone” for our understanding of historical events and the people who were caught up in them.  This book is going to become a touchstone importance for those trying to relate to the human element of the Vietnam War for non-combatants.  The author, Yung Krall, opens a new doorway to viewing what life was like for those families caught in up the cross fires of the Vietnam War.  In her book, “A Thousand Tears Falling,” she will change and alter the thought processes of any veteran reading of her personal experiences.  It will also enlighten those readers who were never a part of any war but often wondered what life was like for those who tried to live inside a war zone with their families.

She puts a face on that war and on the enemy and on the allies.  She, through her sometimes very sad story, will peel away some of the mystery of why certain members of a family, or a community in Vietnam, fought for which side.  It is not as simple as one thinks.  It has more to with personal loyalties, family and nationalism and less at times, to issues about communism or capitalism.  Her father however, was a powerful leader in the war against the French, the South Vietnamese and the Americans and believed in communism.  He left her loving home to go fight the war leaving behind his family to forge for them selves while he lived in the jungles and forests for 18 years.  He was a NLF Senator and when the war was over he was rewarded with an ambassadorship.

This book is all about family and loyalties and choices.  There were many hard choices to be made in the author’s young life.  She had to choose where her heart and loyalties really were at.  She eventually worked for the South Vietnamese and American armies and ends up falling in love with an American navy pilot, getting married and moving to the United States.  However, in order to get the rest of her family out of Vietnam to safety, she had to work with the CIA and became a spy.

There is so much more depth to this story and what she had  emotionally endured.  I do not think a movie could do justice to it; only a TV mini-series could fully capture the spiritual impact of what her life was like and choices she was forced to make.  This is one woman that you will want to meet in person and shake her hand.  She has been through more than most could emotionally bear and she is the stronger for it.  She will move you to tears at times when you read her book, but when you finish you will find that you have gained something valuable through that experience.

Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2005)


Author's Synopsis
In 1977, a woman called "Keyseat" arrived in Paris with 49 classified U.S. documents. Two days later, Hanoi representatives to the Paris Peace Talks possessed the documents, believing that Keyseat, whose father was a Viet Cong official, was their agent. In the United States in 1982, the Vietnam era's only convicted spies, antiwar activist David Truong and USIA officer Ronald Humphrey, were sentenced for document theft. The main U.S. witness was Keyseat, both a CIA and FBI agent. Yung (then Dung Krall) was Keyseat. Her memoir juxtaposes two phases of her unusual life: her early years in South Vietnam and her adult time as a U.S. Navy wife and career espionage agent. She also provides unique details of village and family customs, patiently describing her childhood, revealing the pain she suffered in a family split by ideology. Yung, anti-Communist from childhood, who shared her mother's views, was also a daughter of Dang Quang Minh, the Viet Cong's ambassador to the Soviet Union, whose life was threatened by his daughter's testimony. Yung led a fast-paced life that in its details rivals spy thriller fiction. A recommended first-person account for larger public collections.
Margaret W. Norton, J. Sterling Morton H.S., Berwyn, Ill.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.