April 2024
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(UPDATE) SAIGON KID SANDY HANNA’S BOOK PUBLISHED – The Ignorance of Bliss: An American Kid in Saigon

Admin Note: Sandy’s book is now ready for purchase on January 15th and thereafter. Grab your copy today. Pre-release orders are being taken. If you pre-order today it will be shipped on the official release date (January 15th).

Listing Of Other Book By Saigon Kids™ You Might Enjoy.

Submitted by Sandy Hanna (ACS)

I have finally finished my book about growing up in Saigon 1960-1962 and it is being published by Post HIll Press. Book comes out on Nov. 13th but pre-order available now.

“Very early in my life I became a self-appointed spy.”

The Ignorance of Bliss tells the true story of ten-year-old Sandy, who moves with her American military family to Saigon, Vietnam where her father, the Colonel, serves as a military advisor to the South Vietnamese Army.

In 1960s Saigon, Sandy finds a world of crushing poverty and extraordinary beauty; a world of streets, villas, and brothels, where politics and intrigue reside between plot and counterplot. Blissfully living a life of French decadence, Sandy maneuvers between coups, spies, bombings, corruption, and scandal as she and her thirteen-year-old brother, Tom, run an illicit baby powder and Hershey bar business on the black market and live a life of school, scouts, dance parties, and movies at the underground theater.

When the Colonel’s counterpart, Colonel Le Van Sam, delivers an expose on the current ruling Diem regime, Sandy finds that her constant spying on her father’s activities has brought her face to face with the reality of Vietnam and the anti-American sentiment that pervades it. This coming-of age story takes place in a turbulent country striving for nationalism, giving the reader a stunning look into the life of military dependents living abroad and the underlying ignorance that surrounded a little understood time in history.


About the Author

A resident of New York City and Lambertville, New Jersey, Sandy Hanna grew up in Saigon, South Vietnam and has been telling her story about that experience all of her life. She is an artist and a writer. Graduating from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a MEd, with a comprehensive in the Biology of Cognition, her undergraduate degree is from Knox College in Interdisciplinary programs in Science and Literature. She also spent a year studying design at the California Institute of the Arts with post graduate studies at Wharton. She was a designer of children’s play spaces, Williamstown Children’s Museum, Sesame Place a joint venture between CTW and Bush Entertainment and facilities for handicapped children, as well as a marketing director and consultant for a variety of diverse industries; children’s museums, theme parks, modular construction, etc. Her passion, however, is one as a storyteller.

10 comments to (UPDATE) SAIGON KID SANDY HANNA’S BOOK PUBLISHED – The Ignorance of Bliss: An American Kid in Saigon

  • Sandy Hanna

    Update on release date for the book due to design issues is now Jan. 15, but pre order now available on Amazon. I will be posting Rado interviews and book signing locations. I hope to hear from you all. Our time in Saigon was unique for each and everyone of us.

  • Suellen O Campbell

    Best of luck with your book. Being an author is quite an honor. Enjoy the ride!
    Saigon Kid 1958-60, and daughter of the U.S. Naval Attache to VietNam, Laos and Cambodia.

  • Richard Murphy

    Looking forward to reading your book. I was 8, when my family moved to Saigon in 1958. My father was a project manager for JDP. We lived in the “compound” by the golf course. All I remember was living a great young life for two years in Vietnam. I went all over the country with my dad, when he was inspecting the construction of the JDP’s roads and bridges. I knew nothing about the political situation at that time…glad now that I didn’t. Had a wonderful experience for two years at the American Community School and in Vietnam generally. My dad helped Fr. Crawford build his new church and orphanage. He was raked over the coals in Washington for “donating” excess materials for the donations. Looking back, it was a better use of US tax payer funds, than the billions of dollars subsequently spent and the unfortunate military and civilian lives lost… in the war that should have never been fought. Having grown up in Spain, Libya, Vietnam and Liberia, my fondest memories as a youth were in Saigon. I hope your book reflects the some better sides of our Saigon Kids experiences.

    • Christy Kent

      Richard, when were you on Liberia? My dad was stationed in Monrovia for a few years, as well as in Saigon earlier. I visited him on summer and Christmas vacations. I also attended ACS in Saigon.

      • Richard Murphy

        Hi Christy,

        We lived in Liberia in 1960. Not in Monrovia, but near Buchanan. Not a lot of fun living isolated in the middle of really nowhere. My dad was a project manager constructing a railroad from the iron ore deposits in the hinterlands to the port. Nice to meet you.

  • Sarah J Rogers

    Congratulations Sandy. I look forward to reading your book as I will ever be fascinated with Saigon day’s and all of our unique experiences.

  • Sandy Hanna

    I think I have shown in my book the life of some of us younger children experienced Saigon, while at the same time showing what my older brother was up to. My father’s expose from his Vietnamese counterpart also gives a window into the military and political plots and counter plots that were unfolding. Hope to hear from you once you have read it. Enjoy.

  • Michael H. Cunningham

    Just arrived Saigon (HCMC). Send me an mail if you need anything or have any sightseeing suggestions.

  • Dear Sandy!
    EXCELLENT! WONDERFUL! WELL DONE! and FINALLY,(!!!) a book covering that amazing, extremely unusual, and globally educational for all scenario: living in SE Asia before or during our war there. I immediately want you to flog it to the hilt to all KIDS in our government, especially kids in the Dept of State, CIA, Pentagon, and OF COURSE, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Think about it: I have found that educating and intriguing kids in those market sectors has an educational influence on their parents. Most American are woefully uninformed about such scenarios, and their decisions can reflect it. And intelligence CAN flow uphill.
    Does the Dept of State know about your book? There are many kids in that community that could benefit, and State has many programs that could be very interested, but it can get complicated! I was in Saigon ‘59 when Dale Buis and Chester Ovnand were killed, the first two of the war, and things immediately got politically complicated when I returned to WDC!
    Anyway, I see you got 97% five stars in Amazon. Congratulations! Well Done#2. Hope my book does as well, but it’s still in the works. So, I just ordered IoB. Looking forward to it. You might benefit by looking at a pod cast I recently did covering trying to stop Nixon from nuking Vietnam in ’72. Some think it hilarious, and using it might expand your influence and sales since you can support your book and speaking gigs with bits and buzzwords of my story re popular music etc. On YouTube CRYPTOBEAST #19.

    Best Wishes,
    Chalmers Wood (On Facebook)
    Grateful Education Foundation

  • Jeff Connell

    I ran into this website a year or two ago…this is the first time I have looked at this site in depth … my family was in Vietnam in 1964-65 we all got evacuated in February 11,1965 . I was 9 years old my sister was 15.. periodically, I dig out my ACS year book and look at it … I have to look into some of the books written about others experiences in Saigon that I have discovered looking at this website.

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