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The War Cradle

Vietnam's Children of War

By Shirley Peck-Barnes

The War Cradle
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Review by Allison Martin

The War Cradle by Shirley Peck-Barnes is the first hand account of Operation Babylift, the epic airlift and subsequent adoption of over 2,000 children from Vietnam in 1975. A stirring tale of the young children and adults caught in the aftermath of that long war, The War Cradle takes you to the forefront of Operation Babylift - in Vietnam and in the United States. Shirley Peck-Barnes describes this gripping event with fervor and compassion, including the crucial events leading up to the evacuation and the treatment of orphans in the United States upon arrival.

The War Cradle takes you behind the scenes to the passions and conflicts of the people involved in the day to day operations of a key parent/adoption organization (FCVN) in Vietnam in the 1970's. You can not help but be touched by the passion and the moral decisions called upon by the events of Operation Babylif as you meet Ed Daly, president of World Airways and hotdog pilot; Dr. Ted Gleichman, who founded the agency Friends of Children of Vietnam (FCVN); Ross Meador, a young man who cared for so many orphanage babies and children; and Rosemary Taylor and Cherie Clark, who dedicated themselves to the children so that they could have families once again; and many more. Photographs and quotes from participants bring the true story to life.

I recommend The War Cradle to everyone interested in the tragic events and the complex emotions of Operation Babylift. If you are intrigued by the chronology, people and events of Operation Babylift, you will find it a difficult book to put down.

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