Richard Hammer was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. He attended Syracuse University where he received his A.B. in 1950, Trinity College in Hartford where he received his M.A. in 1951, and Columbia University as a graduate student from 1951-53. Hammer was a news assistant with the National Broadcasting Co., an associate editor for Barron's Weekly and Fortune, and from 1963-1972, he was on the editorial staff for the New York Times. Hammer has written several investigative books on a variety of topics. Shortly after he wrote this book about Son My, he wrote The Court Martial of Lieutenant Calley, in 1971. Hammer is the author-narrator of the film, "Interviews with My Lai Veterans." As a reporter for the New York Times, Hammer wrote many articles concerning the war in Vietnam.
Hammer researched this book in both Vietnam and here in America by interviewing both the Vietnamese survivors and the soldiers involved.
The book was written less than two years after the incident, while the conflict in Vietnam was still occurring. He explains that his drive concerning the matter of My Lai was to discover exactly how such a thing could occur, not necessarily who was to blame. The book reviewer for Time Magazine reviewed both Hammer's book and another book, My Lai 4, by Seymour Hersh in the same article in Time. He stated how both books jive with one another in regards to the information contained in them about the My Lai incident. The reviewer also states that both books are based on first hand accounts, which lead to more accurate details.
Hammer begins by explaining that he must delve into the events prior to the massacre in order to explain the massacre that happened on the morning of March 16, 1968. He takes the reader to...