David Entin Papers, 1966-1997 (bulk 1966-1968)

MS 876

1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

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A worker in the struggle against poverty and racism for five decades, David Entin was raised in New York City environs until his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1953 when he was twelve years old. He began his anti-poverty work with the North Carolina volunteers, a pioneering early effort where he worked with low-come families in Durham, NC. David then joined the North Carolina Fund, a statewide Ford Foundation project where he helped develop and wrote the first rural anti-poverty program under the new Economic Opportunity Act for Craven County (New Bern), NC. From there he helped start the initial anti-poverty program in Jacksonville. His new career was interrupted by Vietnam War service with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Stationed in Quang Ngai Province, a Vietcong stronghold, and Da Nang between 1966 and 1968, Entin oversaw redevelopment projects and while not caught up in the fight itself, he was charged with assessing damage in Region One following the Tet Offensive. After returning home to Florida, Entin resumed his antipoverty work.

A richly evocative collection of 51 letters, the David Entin collection reflects the experiences of a USAID employee stationed in South Vietnam during the war years of 1966 to 1968. Addressed to his parents, these letters function as a sort of diary, recording Entin's daily activities and observations. They are accompanied by hundreds of slides and photographs taken during the period and by a series of later autobiographical essays, detailing Entin's childhood, early career, and service in Vietnam.

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Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

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The collection is open for research.
Photograph of two Vietnamese children take by Entin, ca. 1967.
Photograph of two Vietnamese children take by Entin, ca. 1967.