Prisoner of the Word: A Memoir of the Vietnamese Reeducation Camps by Le Hu’u
Prisoner of the World is a recounting of Le Hu'u Tri's years in Vietnamese reeducation camps. A young officer in the South Vietnamese army in 1975, he turned himself in to the new authorities following the fall of Saigon. He believed he would be freed within a few weeks. Instead, he spent almost six years in forced-labor camps- euphemistically called reeducation camps - where prisoners were routinely starved and deprived of medical care, where some were shot, and they were worked beyond exhaustion. The title alludes to the author's observations on the techniques of manipulation and control the authorities used against their prisoners. Le's memoir is an important contribution to the literature on the methods and techniques of totalitarianism, particularly Communisim, and it is the only book that deals so extensivley with the Vietnamese camps. Readers of Jacques Ellul's Propaganda will recognize Prisoner of the World as illustrating Ellul's concept of internal propaganda.