Monique Brinson Demery ’98 recently appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” discussing “Finding the Dragon Lady: The Mystery of Vietnam’s Madame Nhu,” which was published in September.
Demery’s first book, “Finding the Dragon Lady” chronicles her search for Madame Nhu, the infamous and controversial first lady of the former Republic of South Vietnam. Nhu is remembered for her fiery attitude and controversial politics, particularly during the time leading up to the Vietnam War, earning her the nickname “Dragon Lady” in Western media.
Stewart and Demery discussed her interactions with “the Dragon Lady,” including her difficulty earning Nhu’s trust and how she managed to do so. Demery also discusses why Nhu was an important historical figure, noting she was “pretty astute” as a politician and among those who directly influenced President John F. Kennedy’s decisions.
Demery graduated from William Smith with a bachelor of arts in French and political science. She was a recipient of a U.S. Department of Education grant to attend the Vietnamese Advanced Summer Institute in Hanoi, and in 2003 she graduated from Harvard University with a master’s degree in East Asia regional studies.
Her segment on Jon Stewart can be seen online.
A Daily Update article featured Demery’s work.