Monday, October 5, 2015

Book, concert focus on My Lai Massacre

Hugh Thompson Jr.
The 1968 My Lai Massacre, one of the most shocking episodes of the Vietnam War, will come into focus this Saturday (Oct. 10) at 6 p.m. when the musical/monodrama titled “My Lai” will be performed by the Kronos Quartet at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall.

Prior to the performance, author Trent Angers will give a brief talk about the heroism of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson Jr., who played a major role in ending the massacre and testifying against the U.S. Army soldiers who committed the murders.

Angers, a seasoned journalist and editor from Louisiana, was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work on the Hugh Thompson story.

Angers has written a revised edition of his first book on Thompson. The revised edition, titled “The Forgotten Hero of My Lai,” reveals how Nixon initiated and led an effort to sabotage the My Lai Massacre trials.

One of Angers’ sources for the book were the handwritten notes of White House Chief of Staff H.R. Bob Haldeman. In a Dec. 1, 1969, meeting, Haldeman wrote that Nixon wanted to get the soldiers responsible for My Lai off the hook by destroying the reputation of Thompson. “Dirty tricks — not to high of a level … Discredit one witness … May have to use a Senator or two,” Haldeman wrote.

As for Saturday's concert, the music was composed by Jonathan Berger of Stanford; the lyrics (libretto) were written by Harriet Scott Chessman. The singer/main character is Rinde Eckert (who plays Hugh Thompson), with master Vietnamese musician Van-Ahn Vo.


For more about the concert, go to http://live.stanford.edu.

For more about Angers book, go to Amazon.

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