The following book review is by Bill McDonald – President of the Military Writer's Society of America
Powerful Indictment of our Government and Our History of The Vietnam War
There is just no way you can come away from reading author Barbara Birchim’s book “Is Anybody Listening? A True Story About The POW/MIA In The Vietnam War” and not have an opinion about her, the war, the CIA, and our own government. Her accounting of her life and the facts around her husband Jim’s disappearance in Vietnam leave you wondering what truth is and what paranoia is. If you choose to accept what she is saying it will shake the fundamental foundations of your belief in our government. This book is one of the most powerful personal statements from a wife of a MIA from the Vietnam War. It breaks new ground and points fingers but more importantly it begs to know the truth of what really happened to all our MIAs/POWs.
I was visibly shaken by reading her story and all the side information she includes from others that I personally know like Frank Anton (Author and Ex-POW) and David Morehouse (Author of book “Psychic Warrior” and former member of the Army’s Stargate Program). Her book is so well documented that she leaves the reader little choice but to believe that something much more sinister may be at hand in what happened to all our MIA not only from Vietnam but also from WWII and Korea. This book comes off as an indictment of a morally corrupted political system that is willing to leave behind thousands of men who have bravely served their countries.
What Barbara had to endure and go through all these years with her search and the harassment from her own government is sickening to believe. Again, the reader will have to weigh carefully what the author is relating against a lifetime of government information (or misinformation) and decide if what she is saying is even possible. It makes you uncomfortable to accept that our own government could be so cold and calculating with its citizens. Her story reads like a nightmare novel set in some make believe country. God help us if even half of what she is saying is remotely true.
I find that there are many questions she has raised that need to be answered by those in charge at some level. If nothing else, our leaders have played misinformation games with the public and are hiding many of the facts surrounding live POW and MIA sightings over the years. Her book is compelling enough to call into question almost everything that was ever said about the MIA /POW issues. I find myself wanting to not believe her story but I am unable to disassociate the facts and the questions she skillfully provides in her book. This is not going to be an easy story to accept but one that you cannot ignore. There is a part of me that keeps saying what if she is totally right about all that she is sharing – my God can we as a nation handle that possibility?
I found myself totally absorbed in this book. I was horrified, perplexed, dumfounded, angry, inspired, mournful, and bewildered. This book touched all my emotions both mentally and spiritually. Out of all the books I have read and reviewed the past year this book created the greatest movement within me. I am left to ponder and wonder and question this whole issue. Birchim comes across with so much creditability and force of energy that it is hard to turn a blind eye to what she is saying – that her MIA husband Jim, might have survived and had been alive for years after he was declared dead; or that he may in fact, be alive even now. She wonders, cries and hurts for the truth that seems to be denied to her and to all of us.
The MWSA gives this book its highest rating of FIVE STARS! This will be the most powerful and impacting book you will ever read on the MIA/POW issue. I fully endorse and recommend this book for all serious patriots or just the curious – it is a spell binding memoir. That is why I have given this book The 2006 President's Award!
A True Story About The POW/MIAs In The Vietnam War