They Are All My Family: A Daring Rescue in the Chaos of Saigon's Fall

By John P Riordan
Published for the fortieth anniversary of the final days of the Vietnam War, this is the suspenseful and moving tale of how John Riordan, an assistant manager of Citibank s Saigon branch, devised a daring plan to save 106 Vietnamese from the dangers of the Communist takeover.
Riordanwho had served in the US Army after the Tet Offensive and had left the military behind for a career in international bankingwas not the type to take dramatic action, but once the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon in April 1975 and it was clear that Riordan s Vietnamese colleagues and their families would be stranded in a city teetering on total collapse, he knew he could not leave them behind. Defying the objections of his superiors and going against the official policy of the United States, Riordan went back into Saigon to save them.
In fifteen harrowing trips to Saigon s airport, he maneuvered through the bureaucratic shambles, claiming that the Vietnamese were his wife and scores of children. It was a ruse that, at times, veered close to failure, yet against all odds, the improbable plan succeeded. At great risk, the Vietnamese left their lives behind to start anew in the United States, and now John is known to his grateful Vietnamese colleagues and hundreds of their American descendants as Papa.
"They Are All My Family" is a vivid narrative of one man s ingenious strategy which transformed a time of enormous peril into a display of extraordinary courage. Reflecting on those fateful days in this account, John Riordan s modest heroism provides a striking contrast to America s ignominious retreat from the decade of conflict."


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"A nail-biting account of one man's quiet heroism in the face of impossible odds."-"Kirkus Reviews" "John Riordan is a quiet, gentle man who defied his bosses and in many ways his own nature when he rescued 106 of his Vietnamese colleagues and their families in the closing days of South Vietnam's collapse. He did it in a plot so devious and ingenious, I doubt even Graham Greene could have thought it up. Now he is telling the story in a book masterfully written with verve and heart. So hats off to John Riordan for his astonishing act of derring-do and for writing a great book." -Lesley Stahl, correspondent for "60 Minutes" "John Riordan has provided a moving testament to the redeeming power of human decency even in one of the darkest chapters of American history. Bravo for what he accomplished and for this riveting book." -Craig R. Whitney, former Vietnam bureau chief of "The New York Times" "In the chaos of a frenzied war, in the mounting gyre of fear, brutality, and cowardice, one man steps forward to offer 106 terrified souls safe passage from the hellfire. What human impulse--what valor, grit, and grace--led John Riordan to countermand his orders, risk personal danger, and set himself on a perilous course to save lives in the last anarchic days of the Vietnam War? "They Are All My Family" is a thrilling account of a young banker who had every opportunity to do exactly what his country was doing--cut his losses and run--and yet he did the very opposite. Told with gripping detail, a white-knuckle sense of urgency, and, above all, a very large heart, this is a story that recalls "Schindler's List" or "The Pianist" or "The Siege of Krishnapur." It is a triumphant tale." --Marie Arana, author of "Bolivar: American Liberator and American Chica"




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About the Hardcover

Publisher PublicAffairs
Publish date 04/07/2015
Pages 256
ISBN-13 9781610395038
Language English

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