The League of Wives follows the wives of five Vietnam POWs through their transformation from rule-bound wives to national lobbyists, international human rights figures, spies, & rescuers.
On February 12, 1973, one hundred and sixteen men who, just six years earlier, had been high flying Navy and Air Force pilots, shuffled, limped, or were carried off a huge government C-141 military transport plane at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. These soldiers had endured years of brutal torture, kept shackled in solitary confinement, starving in rat-infested, mosquito-laden prisons, the worst of which was The Hanoi Hilton.
Months later, the first Vietnam POWs to return home would learn that their rescuers were their wives, a group of women that included Jane Denton, Sybil Stockdale, Andrea Rander, Phyllis Galanti, and Helene Knapp. These women, who formed The National League, would never have called themselves “feminists,” but they had become the POWs most fervent advocates, going to extraordinary lengths to facilitate their husbands’ freedom by relentlessly lobbying government leaders, conducting a savvy media campaign, arranging covert meetings with antiwar activists, learning encryption so that they could smuggle information out of Vietnam, and, most astonishingly, engaging in direct negotiations with the North Vietnamese for their husbands’ release.
In a page-turning work of narrative non-fiction similar to Hidden Figures, Heath Hardage Lee tells the story of these remarkable women for the first time in The League of Wives, a book certain to be on everyone’s must-read list.
• ISBN-10: 125016110X
• ISBN-13: 9781250161109
• Release Year: 2019
• Publisher: St. Martin’s Press