In the Midst of Wars: An American's Mission to Southeast Asia
Edward Geary Lansdale (1908-1987) truly became a legend in his own time. His mission to the Philippines in the early 1950s as an Air Force officer and CIA agent resulted in the defeat of the communist-led Hukbalahap movement and the subsequent election of Ramon Magsaysay, arguably the most popular president that the people of the Philippines have known. In 1954 Lansdale was sent to Vietnam, where he hoped to repeat the program of counterinsurgency that was so successful in the Philippines. His ideas of land redistribution, grass roots village democracy, and elimination of corruption in the South Vietnamese government and army gradually were superseded by massive air and ground operations. When Lansdale returned to the United States for duty in Washington, he never ceased to promote the advancement of democratic ideology as the key tool to "win the hearts and minds of the people of Asia." He became romanticized in "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene, "The Ugly American" by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick, and "Le Mal Jaune" by Jean Larteguy. "In the Midst of Wars" is history as Edward Lansdale saw it.
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