Heath Hardage Lee Shares Book about Wives During Vietnam War


The League of Wives

Author and Former Museum Employee Writes Book on Courageous Women and Lands Production Deal with Reese Witherspoon

league of wives.png

On February 19th, Levine Museum of the New South hosted Heath Hardage Lee, author and former Museum employee, to discuss her recent book, The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home. Lee unearths the forgotten history of the courageous wives of American Prisoners of War and Missing in Action during the Vietnam War. 

Lee spoke of how her time at Levine Museum of the New South taught her the importance of taking someone’s oral history and the bond that is formed by listening to a person’s story first-hand. She said that the crux of the research for this nonfiction narrative was from collecting the oral histories of these bold women from different military branches, different backgrounds, and from around the country.

These military wives, who never considered themselves as activists, modeled their grass-root movement after civil rights and feminist leaders of the time by forming local chapters to coordinate actions across the nation, using telegrams to flood politicians’ offices, and protesting with sit-ins. The POW and MIA wives were able to use the coded letters from their husbands as proof of torture and ultimately helped rescue many of the captured men that were abandoned by the Johnson administration.

This story was so compelling that the rights were purchased before the book’s publication by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine and Fox 2000.

To learn more about Jane Denton, Sybil Stockdale, Louise Mulligan and the League of Wives spoke truth to power, read Heath Hardage Lee’s article in Time and her book is available on Amazon and Indiebound and the museum shop.