By Michael Bradley
In his fourth and latest book, George J. Veith explores the rise and fall of the Republic of Vietnam.
At the end, there is a startling revelation that the author prefers not to share—but perhaps the bigger surprise is that with so much having been written about the Vietnam War from practically every perspective, there was never anything about how South Vietnam was built after 1963 and what forces combined to create the short-lived nation. In Drawn Swords in a Distant Land: South Vietnam’s Shattered Dreams (Encounter Books, 2021), Veith, of Pike Creek, addresses the question and continues his diligent work into the country’s legacy. “[The book is] a history of how the U.S. and South Vietnam tried to build a country,” he explains. “It looks at their successes and failures. I uncovered a lot of secrets along the way.” The biggest failure, of course, came on April 30, 1975, when Saigon fell, and thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese were evacuated from the captured city. But plenty happened from ’63 to ’75, and Veith chronicles it all in his meticulously researched account. This book also gave him the opportunity to continue presenting the Vietnam War to readers in a way that differs from how most other authors have. “Most books about the Vietnam War are from the American perspective,” he points out. “I’m filling a tremendous gap about what South Vietnam was doing. It fascinated me. Where did South Vietnam succeed and fail, and what does it mean for the future?”
By Ashley Breeding
Wilmingtonians and visitors now have a fresh place to gather. The Delaware Art Museum recently opened Kaffeina at the Thronson Café, a hip and cozy hangout for those touring the museum, as well as “community groups pursuing their hobbies and engaging in lively discussions,” says co-owner Jin Twilley, who concepted the space with coffee aficionado Jisun Chang. The pair promise a mix of original and creative menu items, like Italian-style coffee with hints of cioccolato, a honeycomb latte and the croffle—a twist on a croissant and waffle. For hours, visit delart.org.
By Matt Amis
Wilmington’s 108-year-old Broadway-style Playhouse got a $1 million glow-up. And it’s shining brightest just in time for some of the season’s biggest shows. At the Playhouse on Rodney Square, which was quiet during its extended COVID-induced closure of indoor performances, changes include wider and more comfortable audience seats, fresh paint and carpeting, and more modern lighting and drapery, plus a new loading-dock door, which will allow The Grand to attract larger Broadway touring shows. After welcoming Sara Bareilles’ Waitress and jukebox musical Summer this season, the Playhouse will round things out with Riverdance in April and Fiddler on the Roof next June.
The Playhouse’s reopening “times perfectly with the ground-floor renovations of the Hotel Du Pont lobby, Le Cavalier at the Green Room,” Chris Buccini of Buccini/Pollin Group states in a press release, “as well as the opening of Currie Salon and Spa, and DECO food hall.”
1007 N. Market St., Wilmington, 888-0200