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Finding the Dragon Lady
"Deeply intriguing...one hell of a story." - Daily Beast
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Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

Created: 10/07/14

Replies: 15

Posted Oct. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions did you find justifiable and/or laudable? Which did you find particularly heinous?


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 82

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

No sympathy for Madame Nhu. Even her stand on women's rights left you wondering about her motives.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janc

Join Date: 10/27/14

Posts: 3

RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I did not develop sympathy for Madame Nhu. I admired her courage at times, but I think she was motivated by narcissism. I am sure she loved her children, but I don't think they came first. She enjoyed her power and enjoyed adulation. The Trang Sisters Statute was an interesting case in point.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 39

RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

The only time I felt any sympathy for her at all,was when Nhu had affairs. I detested her most when she made cruel & heinous comments about the Buddhists who set themselves on fire. I had a hard time with her cruel words.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I was pretty amazed at how much freedom and power a woman, at that time in history, was actually able to acquire. Especially in an area of the world you don't associate particularly with women's rights. I do think she was smarter than many of the men she was dealing with ... maybe even actually saved them a few times (probably fewer than she indicated!) but she was so heartless when confronted with the burning priests. It's hard to look back and put yourself in someone's shoes in another time when you haven't experienced their life to that point and try and justify or criticize their actions.


Posted Oct. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I felt sympathy for her when her childhood was described. It evaporated pretty quickly, though. I found most of her behavior to be self-serving and cruel.


Posted Oct. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I did not find her to be a sympathetic character at all. Of course, it is sad on the level of being a woman anywhere to know that your husband is cheating on you. In retrospect I am sure that some Americans sense that Jacqueline Kennedy's smile is less-than-sincere as Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday in her sheer dress to her lover, the President JFK.


Posted Oct. 31, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 9

RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

Even though she had a few rough spots in her childhood, she still lived a privileged life. I never felt very much sympathy for her at all. She lost me with her comments about the monks burning themselves. I was appalled at her behavior when she visited America and couldn't understand why crowds supported her though the whole Vietnam question was a very volatile one at that time.


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

Not really, I had a grudging acceptance of her independent nature, self-determination and grit but found her to be wholly narcissistic and self-serving, very imperious and uncaring about anything beyond her own desires. Even her motives to promote education and women's rights were suspect. She was a fascinating persona but not at all sympathetic.


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

From the previous answers, it looks like no one at this point believes Madame Nhu had any justifiable or laudable actions. This historic woman lived an evil life although she hadn't a clue it was so. Her childhood was sad, as were those of her children, and her marriage almost was over before it began. She was a bitter woman, but she thought she was untouchable no matter what she did. No wonder she was lost. If it weren't for Monique Demery, she wouldn't have been found.


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 82

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

Very well said


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I feel zero sympathy for the woman. I can't judge her, I do believe her actions were to survive, gain/keep power. She was strategic. An example of living on the choices you've made. Vietnam was a very complicated country, messy. A stain in the history books.


Posted Nov. 02, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I felt some sympathy for the way Madame Nhu's marriage was described, but I have to wonder if she really cared about her husband. It seemed like she had an unhappy, dysfunctional childhood and never learned to really care about others.


Posted Nov. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marys

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 32

RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I found her to be a raging egoist. It seemed that she was a schemer from when she was a small child and only get better at promoting herself as she got older. She didn't seem to have any compassion for humanity including her own children. She gave me the creeps.


Posted Nov. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 188

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

I don't think I found her sympathetic. It was interesting how she wanted her story to be told but only on her terms. It did not seem that she could fully grasp the result of her actions but then I don't think anyone could see ahead at that time in history. Has this really changed?


Pegh
Posted Nov. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Did you develop any sympathy for Madame Nhu at all? Which of her actions were justifiable, which were heinous?

As human beings, we probably should feel sympathy for anyone whose parents are murdered. I think that Ms. Demerey's book is an important addition to the history of the United States. Our government has backed many coups only to turn around and find the regimes/dictators/shahs that we put in -owr more despicable than the the previous ones - - and then we set off on a new hate monging/war campaign.


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