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In Buddha's CompanyThai Soldiers in the Vietnam War$
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Richard A. Ruth

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834197

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834197.001.0001

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Thailand and the Vietnam War

(p.1) Introduction
In Buddha's Company

Richard A. Ruth

University of Hawai'i Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, namely to look at Thailand's involvement in the Vietnam War. It attempts to reconcile the disparity between the contrasting two images of Thai volunteer forces—of merciful heroes and greedy mercenaries—as they existed during the war and as they survive in today's history books. Using interviews with Thai veterans, official American and Thai sources, archival documents, and contemporary press reports, the book presents an account of Thai participation that looks beyond the “mercenaries” label to determine what the war meant to the soldiers who experienced it. The final section of the chapter discusses the research methodology and sources.

Keywords:   Thai troops, volunteer forces, mercenaries, South Vietnam, Vietnam War

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