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INCIDENT AT MUC WA
(Go Tell the Spartans)

Incident at Muc Wa
This is the story that inspired the acclaimed Burt Lancaster movie, Go Tell the Spartans. It's 1964--early days in South Vietnam--and the U.S. Army Raiders garrison a town that the French abandoned ten years before. Charlie attacks, the Raiders reinforce, and the violence spirals upward until the Americans are ordered to "exfiltrate" in an ending that foretells the eventual abandonment of South Vietnam.


What the reviewers said

  • "Sad, bawdy, and compelling." -- Detroit Free Press

  • "This is a superb book about the opening moments of the Vietnam War. Daniel Ford was there and he saw what was happening and he wrote about it. Eloquently. Efficiently. Stylishly." -- Steven Rosen on Curled Up With a Good Book.

  • "A sergeant forms an attachment of the flesh to a local girl and a corporal forms an attachment of the spirit to the pestilence-ridden hamlet and its people. The corporal's involvement has built-in hazards, which Mr. Ford develops in a series of deftly stated ironies." -- New York Times Book Review

  • "A fine novel. Recommended." -- Library Journal

  • "His hero is a likeable and dogged young man who believes that anything worth doing is worth doing well, and whose career is a grim illustration of the consequences of the human capacity to devote a single-minded idealism, energy and generosity to any object, good or questionable, that presents itself." -- New Statesman

  • "I realized the first time through that you were the one blazing the path into the literature of the war, since you caught on to the inner narrative long, long before anyone else got it. You and Graham Greene, there at the beginning. I realized this time through that you were out front on any number of themes that arose and clarified themselves as that war went on. In sum, you walked point on the whole danged thing." -- Bob Haynie

    Read the first chapter

    If I were writing Incident at Muc Wa today, I'd begin it on the spot, in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. Books were more leisurely in the 1960s, and they began at the beginning, before the excitement builds. We couldn't envision a time when the "Look Inside" preview on Amazon would enable readers to decide in a very few pages whether to buy the book or not. So here we are, with a secondary character in a secondary location, in a chapter that doesn't get to the point until the very last paragraph: “I wonder what it’s like over there. I wonder what it’s really like.” Read it now.

    Publishing history

    Go Tell the Spartans Incident at Muc Wa was published in hardcover by Doubleday in the United Sates (1967) and by Heinemann in Britain (1968). Pyramid published a paperback edition in 1968, Arendt translated it into Dutch in 1973, and Jove re-issued it as Go Tell the Spartans in 1976 to take advantage of the movie tie-in. When available at secondhand bookstores, these books can command very high prices (I've seen $195 asked for a far-from-perfect first edition, and $45 for the Pyramid paperback).

    In 2000 Author's Guild published the book in a facsimile edition through its Backinprint program. More recently, I have made a more reasonably priced edition available under the Warbird Books imprint as a $9.95 paperback (distributed by Createspace) and as a $4.99 e-book.

    Get the paperback

    The Createspace edition is a quality paperback, 6x9 inches, 180 pages. It's available from most online bookstores, many local bookstore (probably with a service charge), and as an autographed copy from me (retail price plus shipping):
  • At Createspace - $2 off with coupon KKK2T99P
    At Amazon stores in the US and Europe
    At Barnes and Noble
    At the Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)
    From your bookstore with the ISBN 978-1478178187
    Or get a signed copy from me by US Media Mail or US Priority Mail

    Get the digital edition

    As an e-book with the same content (well, except for the back cover!), Incident at Muc Wa costs $4.99 and is sold by the major online bookstores, including:
    Amazon stores worldwide
    Apple iBooks Store
    Barnes and Noble
    Inktera
    Kobo in many countries
    Scribd retail and lending library

    Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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    Posted May 2015. Websites ©1997-2015 Daniel Ford. All rights reserved.