Silent Spring – Deadly Autumn of the Vietnam War ISBN: 978173547421 Whatnot Enterprises, researched and written by Patrick Hogan.
Following a compelling opening “Special Thanks and Personal Note” and a “Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations Used”, the author provides 19 chapters, each with pertinent Endnotes, and a Postscript describing aspects of the Vietnam War. Beginning with his personal involvement he follows with a mass of material with respect to the huge quantities of herbicides and insecticides with which they repeatedly were sprayed and otherwise were surrounded in Vietnam. These are followed with chapters dealing with the Veterans Administration and other governmental agencies’ denial of benefits to servicemen for their later developing wide-ranging pattern of diseases. His research has amassed a huge amount of evidence of the detrimental effects of exposure to such now infamously notable substances such as Agent Orange and DDT, as well as also widely employed but lesser known substances such as DEET, Malathion and others. The author’s discussion continues describing the various explanations, caveats and blatant omissions of pertinent facts as well as other ploys the governmental agencies have employed to refuse acceptance of any culpability.
Discussion: This book is part memoir and part a research report done by an intelligent man whose research training has been rather rudimentary but who has developed it well as a somewhat secondarily acquired vocation. His understanding and presentation of factual material and its relevance is excellent as are his understanding of the ploys, mistakes and/or deliberate misuse of experimental populations, inexcusable ‘loss of data’ and the rest. The only regrettable note from this reader is that Judicious editing would have eliminated a considerable amount of repetition and increased the work’s impact. However, he has set forth a really impressive mass of material that is irrefutable and that once again exposes the unfortunately still continuing, and seemingly expanding, shameful hypocrisy of the tightly entwined duo of Big Business and Government where the mantra is to deny and the bottom line is the Holy Grail.
4* 5* well-done expose; -1 need for judicious editing.