About the book (from dust jacket):
The Prevailing Wind is a personal testimony of events in Laos, Cambodia, North and South Vietnam and Thailand, since the first Geneva conference on Ind0-China in 1954. Michael Field was a witness of the development of the ill-fated Ngo dinh Diem regime in South Vietnam, the collapse of Western plans to make Laos a ‘bastion against Communism’ and the consolidation of Cambodian neutrality; and his intimate, constant observation of events on the spot for seven years gives the book its unique quality.
Serious political and historical analysis is combined with personal, sometimes humorous reminiscences of a journalist. Mr. Field presents and interprets the views of the Asians themselves, caught in the world ideological conflict, and the reader is constantly reminded that the leaders of the Indo-China countries are living human beings. They are introduced as live friends and enemies, not as puppets of the Cold War. Controversial issues are tackled: the author discusses neutralism, Asian Communism, the paradoxical attitudes of France, the hopes and failures of the United States policies – in brief, the general Western dilemma. And he concludes that the West’s present military and political struggle in Indo-China will be doomed to failure unless it is accompanied by far-sighted policies aimed at basic settlements between the West, the Soviet Union and China, founded on the realities of power.