Deeply compelling and deftly researched, Dana Sachs’s The Life We Were Given vividly documents this controversial mass evacuation while trailing the heartbreaking narratives of the children-from village life to orphanage to hastily arranged flights to the United States and into the homes of waiting American adoptive parents. The Life We Were Given is a powerful exploration of the questions that haunt everyone involved in adoption.—Meredith Hall, author of Without A Map
“The saddest story in the whole awful sweep of the war in Vietnam had nothing to do with soldiers or ideology and has never been fully told—possibly because no one could bear to. Thankfully, Dana Sachs fills that void with The Life We Were Given, one of the bravest and most wrenching books I have read about the war. All the victims and heroes of the Orphan Airlift come unforgettably to life in this beautiful book, and I will not soon forget them, or it.”—Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things
“The Life We Were Given</i< is a work of great compassion and scope that gives voice to the tragedy and salvation of thousands of Vietnamese orphans. Dana Sachs has compiled an impressive collection of personal stories and presented them with concise historical background to give this subject the depth it so rightly deserves. An illuminating book worth reading.”—Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven
“With its clear and compelling truths about war, children, fear, and hope, The Life We Were Given becomes one of our very best and most important books about America’s involvement with the people of Vietnam. And it’s so much more. Exquisitely written, full of breathtaking suspense, this book will become a classic, a must-read.”—Clyde Edgerton, author of Lunch at the Piccadilly and The Bible Salesman
“This gripping account of Operation Babylift allows the voices of those directly affected by the experience to speak out. . . . Unmatched in its breadth of perspective and depth of insight . . . Sachs has broken new ground in our continued understanding and insight into how powerful Operation Babylift was on our national consciousness and the many lives it impacted.”—Bert Ballard, PhD, Operation Babylift adoptee (April 1975), international adoption researcher, adoptee activist
From the Hardcover edition.