Seven College Conference Annual Literary Event & Evening Reception with Smith Alumna, Author Sherry Buchanan on Thursday November 17, 2022

Thursday November 17, 2022
63 New Cavendish Street, London
 W1G 7LP
6:30–9 pm 


An Evening of Culture & Vietnamese Fare to
Celebrate Women, Peace, and Reconciliation



Smith College and The Fletcher School at Tufts University alumna who served with The Wall Street Journal and the International Herald Tribune talking about her new book on the American Vietnam War (1964–1975) that highlights the untold story of the women who defended the Ho Chi Minh Trail against the most intense bombardment in modern times.

In conversation with
 Moderator and speaker, former CNN presenter and correspondent

followed by Images from the American-Vietnam War with
British Museum curator of the groundbreaking exhibition of Vietnamese war drawings: Behind The Lines: Images from the American-Vietnam War 1965–1975 


Enjoy a Welcome Drink on arrival.

A Q&A and Book Signing will take place after the talks followed by a Reception featuring Vietnamese Fare, Bubbly & Green Tea.

The war art that inspired the author's journey will be on view.

Click here to buy tickets

About this event

The book talk, art presentation, and Q&A will be preceded by a welcome drink. A reception featuring Vietnamese Fare, Bubbly & Green Tea will follow. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale.  Or purchase the book here and bring it in for signature: On The Ho Chi Minh Trail: The Blood Road, The Women Who Defended It, The Legacy.

If you cannot attend the event but wish to DONATE to the Barbara Ilias Research & Travel Grant that supports students during their junior year abroad in the UK, please click on TICKETS.

S´╗┐mith alumna Sherry Buchanan will be discussing her 2,000-mile road trip down the Ho Chi Minh Trail  with speaker and moderator Todd Benjamin, former CNN anchor and presenter. The American-Vietnam War (1964–1975) has been portrayed as a macho war on steroids. Buchanan's groundbreaking new book reveals the untold story of the critical role women played in defending the Ho Chi Minh Trail and in rebuilding the country after the war.

British Museum curator Jessica-Harrison Hall will talk about the drawings created under fire that inspired the author's journey.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a 10,000 mile military supply network of paths, roads, and bridges built during the war by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to supply the National Liberation Front, the communist Viet Cong to us, fighting for the reunification of North and South Vietnam promised in the 1954 Geneva Accords. The Trail became a key strategic target for the United States. 

Buchanan, accompanied by travelling companions social activist Nam Nguyen, driver extraordinaire Han Mai, and gallerist Tran Thi Huynh Nga, will talk about why she travelled through the jungles and minefields of Vietnam and Laos, how she met the women veterans who defended it, encountered American veterans who returned after the war, and explored cultural sites that survived the most intense bombing in modern times. 

Journalist, author, and publisher 

Sherry Buchanan served as an editor and columnist with The Wall Street Journal  and the International Herald Tribune in Brussels, Paris, London, and Hong Kong. She is the author of several books on the American-Vietnam War and the publisher of Asia Ink, a client press of the University of Chicago Press. When she firs travelled to Vietnam in the 1990s, she was astonished to discover art created by North Vietnamese artists, the enemy demonised at the time, that offered a glimpse of redemption to the cruel war she had watched on the evening news at Smith College. 

She recorded images, diaries, and oral histories of the war from all sides in Tran Trung Tin: Paintings and Poems from Vietnam (2002), Mekong Diaries: Viet Cong Drawings & Stories(Chicago 2008),  Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers’ Engravings & Stories (Chicago 2007), Vietnam Posters (Prestel 2012), and ‘A History of Posters in Vietnam: 1945–‘ in Communist Posters(Reaktion 2017). 


'On The Ho Chi Minh Trail is a powerful message to the world to understand what these women—and the people of Vietnam—went through during the Vietnam War (1965–1975). Finally Vietnamese women have a voice, a face, and gratitude.' Le Ly Hayslip in USA Today, author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace.

'Combining travelogue, history, interviews, art, and endless empathy, On The Ho Chi Minh Trail is a compelling meditation on the relationship between past and present, war and peace, memory and reconciliation.’ Christian Appy, professor of history at the University of Massachussetts (Amherst) author of Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides.

'A riveting read of a hidden history.' Jessica Harrison-Hall, curator at the British Museum and author of Vietnam Behind the Lines: Images from the American-Vietnam War, 1965–1975

'Vibrant writing...A powerful light on a war and a previously unexplored dimension that should never be forgotten.’ Myra MacPherson, author of Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation

'Finally a book that challenges the female stereotypes of Hollywood's Vietnam War movies.' Thuc Doan Nguyen, film writer and director.

'A brilliant book...Buchanan has contributed to the process of gradual, person-by-person, healing and reconciliation [between Vietnam and the United States].' Ted Osius, former US Ambassador to Vietnam (2014–2017) and author of Nothing Is Impossible: America's Reconciliation with Vietnam.

'An absolute gem.' Pete Peterson, first postwar US Ambassador to Vietnam and Vietnam War Veteran.

'A fascinating account of the largely untold story of the courageous women who played a strategic role for the North during the Vietnam War (1965–1975).' Melanne Verveer, former US Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

'The book highlights the critical role played by the Women Warriors [in stopping] the American War in Vietnam. Despite the War’s moral implications, the mass death it wrought, the long aftermath of chemical weapon use, and the decades of physical and psychological trauma it caused Vietnamese civilians and fighters as well as American soldiers, Sherry Buchanan argues the US has yet to truly grapple with what the invasion says about the country’s seemingly insatiable penchant for violent supremacy.' Bob Scheer,  Scheer Intelligence, NPR. 

'Sherry Buchanan shares deeply about her beautiful and compelling new book.' Paul Samuel Dolman, What Matters Most

 'An important aspect of Vietnamese history.' Leonard Lopate, WBAI