Heath Hardage Lee – The League of Wives


“Listeners are transported back to the 1960s by Heath Hardage Lee and her painstaking research… Her fascination with her subjects is infectious. Listeners who are fans of history will find much to admire in this little-known story.” AudioFile Magazine

A remarkable true story of love, war, courage, constancy and change – as a group of naval housewives transformed themselves into powerful advocates for their missing husbands.” (Liza Mundy, author of the NY Times best seller Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II)

This program is read by the author.

The true story of the fierce band of women who battled Washington – and Hanoi – to bring their husbands home from the jungles of Vietnam.

On February 12, 1973, 115 men who just six years earlier had been high-flying Navy and Air Force pilots shuffled, limped, or were carried off a huge military transport plane at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. These American servicemen had endured years of brutal torture, kept shackled and starving in solitary confinement, 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, Louise Mulligan, Andrea Rander, Phyllis Galanti, and Helene Knapp. These women, who formed the National League of Families, would never have called themselves feminists, but they had become the POW and MIAs’ most fervent advocates, going to extraordinary lengths to facilitate their husbands freedom – and to account for missing military men – by relentlessly lobbying government leaders, conducting a savvy media campaign, conducting covert meetings with antiwar activists, and most astonishingly, helping to code secret letters to their imprisoned husbands.

In an unpausable work of narrative nonfiction, Heath Hardage Lee tells the story of these remarkable women for the first time. The League of Wives is certain to be on everyones must-listen list.

Author: Heath Hardage Lee
Narrator: Heath Hardage Lee
Duration: 10 hours 18 minutes
Released: 19 Feb 2004
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Language: English

User Review:

plainclothesman smooth

I think the author did a great disservice to the League of Wives with her right wing biases and total lack of reflections on the horrors of the Vietnam War. At times, the book was so plastic I wanted to scream. I was especially troubled by her false assertion about the low rate of PTSD of the downed pilots which she attributed to their higher level of education.