By Carolyn Mattson, FOBPL Board
Sept. 27, 2023: To commemorate Veterans Day, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library (FOBPL) encourages book clubs to read Getting Out Of Saigon: How A 27-Year-Old Banker Saved 113 Vietnamese Civilians by Ralph White, in preparation for a special conversation with the author on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 in the Bronxville Public Library’s Yeager Room. Bronxville resident Irena Choi Stern will moderate the evening.
In April 1975, the Chase Manhattan Bank’s senior management asked Ralph White, then 27, to relocate from its Bangkok branch to Saigon as enemy troops closed in on the city. The bank needed an American to helm Saigon’s branch in its final days, keeping it open as long as possible and rescuing its senior Vietnamese employees if closing became necessary.
Kirkus Reviews described the book as “a unique, gripping story from the Vietnam War....White's persona seems like something out of a Terry Southern or Ian Fleming novel—as does his writing. White tells his inspiring story with wit, panache, humility, and a captivating sense of time and place. A fantastic read." It is a remarkable account of one man’s quest to save innocent lives not because he was ordered, but because it was the right thing to do.
White subsequently worked in the International Strategic Planning Division of Chase and was a Vice President when he left. He then worked as a business development officer with three foreign banks and earned an MBA at Columbia University. In 2009, he founded the Columbia Fiction Foundry, a writing workshop for alumni of Columbia University. Having served as the organization’s president for its first decade, White now serves as its Chairman. He lives in New York City and Litchfield, CT.
To register for this author talk, please click here.
Please pick up your copy at your local bookstore.
The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.
The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.
The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.
Executive Director: Kathleen Suss
Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art
171 White Plains Rd
99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
117 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708