And in the end, he was murdered by his own side, the Montagnard rebels who were equally opposed to the Communists in Hanoi and the generals in Saigon.
A compelling look at a country and a people caught up in a Cold War they couldn't understand, and which in the end destroyed them.
In 1964, Daniel Ford took the publisher's advance for the sale of his first novel, and with it bought a ticket to Saigon. For several months, he hitchhiked around the country with American helicopter crews and joined the government forces -- both Vietnamese and ethnic minorities -- in their quest to find and destroy Communist guerrillas. The most memorable of these warriors was a young man whom the Americans knew as Cowboy, who liked to introduce himself as Philippe Drouin, and who had been born Y Kdruin Mlo in the forbidding Highlands where the lowland Vietnamese were hated and feared. Here Dan returns to that long-ago war and to the story of one of its most fascinating fighters, who in the end became one of its victims.