chapter  12
North Vietnam, 1972
Pages 26

When my wife and I had talked with North Vietnam’s prime minister, Pham Van Dong, in Hanoi in August of 1971, I had gently chided him for having invited to visit his country only those Americans known for their outspoken opposition to the war. He had immediately accepted my argument that it was important to supplement their visits with those by more influential Americans – both those who had taken a public position against the US role in the war, but could speak with greater authority if they had actually visited North Vietnam, and those who were still on the fence but would be more likely to join the critics once they could actually see conditions in North Vietnam for themselves, rather than being dependent on the picture prepared for them by the Nixon administration. While Pham Van Dong had readily agreed with my assessment, presumably not novel to him, he said he didn’t know how to go about selecting such a group. I acknowledged this difficulty but suggested that as a first effort a group of university presidents might be appropriate. He liked the choice and said he would get in touch with me when arrangements could be worked out.