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1. Vietnam: A History
2. Vietnam at War: The History: 1946-1975
3. Vietnam: An Illustrated History
4. The History of Vietnam (The Greenwood
5. The Vietnam War: A Graphic History
6. DAYS OF VALOR: An Inside Account
7. 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History
8. Major Problems in the History
9. Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories
10. A People's History of the Vietnam
11. LAND WITH NO SUN: A Year in Vietnam
12. Vietnam: Anthology and Guide To
13. Bloods: Black Veterans of the
14. Vietnam: A History
15. The Vietnam War (Essential Histories:
16. Vietnam and America: The Most
17. The Vietnam War 1956-1975 (Essential
18. Is Anybody Listening?: A True
19. America's War in Vietnam: A Short
20. Very Crazy, G.I.!: Strange but

1. Vietnam: A History
by Stanley Karnow
Paperback: 784 Pages (1997-06-01)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$9.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140265473
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Provides a comprehensive look at both sides of the Vietnam War through a collection of personal tales and delves into the political and military events in the United States and elsewhere that originally caused the war and the brought it to an end. Reprint. TV tie-in." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars impressive
It took me several tries to get through this densely packed history of Vietnam up to 1975, but I'm glad I made it the third time around.I was most impressed with Karnow's knowledge of all the major players in the 1954 to 1975 period, and how he was able to interweave these individuals' stories into a comprehensive history of the conflicts in Vietnam after World War II.

I have to agree with another review that I read that critiqued Karnow's book as being more focused on the political rather than the military aspects of US involvement; however, that leads to one of the central messages that I got out of this history - the US and the South Vietnam were ultimately unsuccessful because of the failure of the South to be an effective government to their people. The corruption and lack of focus on the average citizen's needs by the Diem and the Thieu governments led these regimes to failure in the end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steamy Historical Event
Stanley Karnow knew Vietnamese history like the back of his hand which also surprised even him with the discovery when he showed-up in the 1980's to do interviews for the book that one of his Vietnamese co-workers back in the 1960's, Colonel Bui Tin, turned-out to be a Viet Minh spy. The historical events was told more or less through the lens of Colonel Bui Tin ending with the Colonel lying flat on his back in a state of exuberance in the backyard of the Presidential Palace in Saigon "Ho Chi Minh City."

5-0 out of 5 stars The American Civil War...
...at least the one in the 20th Century, was fought over this country, and the ramifications reverberate today. There were those who saw, and those who will never see. Those who lived through that period, and took sides in one camp or the other are unlikely to ever change their minds, even if the motivation took the form of the proverbial lightning bolt on the way to Damascus. And certainly one book is unlikely to do it, as evidenced by some of the other reviews, particularly the 1 and 2-star ones. However, for the "younger generations," those who look back on the ancient events of America's involvement in Vietnam as they might the Peloponnesian Wars, and want to read just one book, this one would be it, the sine qua non of books on Vietnam, covering both the prelude to American involvement, as well as the entire war to the end, in 1975.

Stanley Karnow is a reporter of astonishing erudition. He combines the first-hand knowledge that comes from the "field work," with a scholarly appreciation of the historical forces at work. Like other soldiers who were in the war, I've had my problems with reporters, and what they chose to see and report. Karnow neatly addresses the issue of page 279, when he reports an exchange between Peter Arnett of the Associated Press (and later famous for his coverage from Baghdad of the '91 war) and Admiral Felt. Arnett had asked Felt a hard question after the Battle of Ap Bac, and Felt shot back: "Get on the team."All too many did, buying the line that was peddled at what even they would call "the Five O'clock Follies," the spin the America military would put on the war each day for press consumption. Karnow was one of the courageous ones, along with Neil Sheehan, Jonathan Schell, and others, who would report what they saw. But as he sardonically says of others: "Frequently, though, the magazines distorted the dispatches of their reporters and relied instead on guidance from White House...True to their tradition, "Time" and "Life" stood up for America (p 503). In terms of how people "spun" the facts, Karnow quotes Komer about a situation report that was filed, and Komer corrects to say that he was asked to file a PROGRESS report, and thus all the non-progress had to be edited out. (p 515)

Over half of this almost 700 page book is devoted to events prior to the major American military buildup in 1965. It covers the French involvement, from the 1800's through their colonial demise in 1954. Another excellent book on this era is "River Road to China," which I recently reviewed. The first chapter of the book is aptly entitled, "The War Nobody Won," (like almost all wars.) It updates the 1983 edition to the early `90's. There are so many valid points to highlight, it is hard to select only a few, but one that has always been particularly infuriating to me was the campaign to give the MIA families the false hope that their loved ones might still be alive in Vietnam; all of which was a pretext for maintaining diplomatic non-recognition of the country. It was an effective campaign, and Karnow cites a "Time" magazine survey published in April, 1990 that showed 62 percent of Americans--and 84% of veterans--maintained that the Vietnamese were holding U.S. captives (p 55).Meanwhile, for all this support of imaginary veterans, the very real ones here in the States were all too often denied treatment for conditions caused by military service, such as the devastating effects from Agent Orange.

Like Sheehan, Karnow excoriates McNamara, the master of "can-doism," and famous for his statement: "every quantitative measurement...shows that we are winning the war" (p 271).Yet the qualitative picture "in the field," that was daily rubbed in the face of the G.I's willing to see was so vastly different. Karnow quotes Mark Smith, formerly of the 1st Cav. Division, who was also fascinated by the physical beauty in Binh Dinh province where I served. Karnow says of Binh Dinh: "...the lush green mountains rose from a plain of rice fields divided with such geometrical precision as to suggest that the peasants who had landscaped the scene were natural mathematicians. And then Karnow quotes Smith, who felt intimidated by the "subtle, incomprehensible villages--whole societies right in front of us, yet impenetrable even after we had entered them, never understanding anything or seeing anything understandable, the people staring at us as if we were from Mars." (p 482).

As for those who didn't see, it would be hard to top the statement made by someone who hide in the Texas Air National Guard during the war. During President Bush's "diplomatic" visit to Vietnam, he told the Vietnamese that the "lessons" of the Vietnam War are that if we had stayed long enough, we would have won!As for the "lessons" that one of those who did see, Karnow, said, and it was reported in this month's "Newsweek": When the commanding general of American and Allied forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal asked: "Is there anything we learned in Vietnam that we can apply to Afghanistan?" Karnow's reply was just as simple: "The main thing I learned is that we never should have been there in the first place."

Truly excellent advise for Afghanistan as well. This book is more than a 5-star read, it should be required reading for all American students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great History
There is a reason this is considered the best single volume history of the Vietnam War.Karnow, who was a reporter in Vietnam before and during the war, and had also made a number of reporting trips back to Vietnam to interview community leaders, produced a great history of that ultimately tragic war for both Vietnam and the US.Karnow traces US involvement in Vietnam from before the end of the Second World War.Cold War politics drove the US to stay involved in the internal politics of Vietnam.Misguided ideas about the domino theory, or that the fall of one Asian county to communism would lead to the whole continent to succumb, led political leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties to increase troop levels.The numbers of troops escalated sharply during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson.

Karnow covers in depth the reaction of US military and political leadership to the Tet Offensive in 1968 and the impact Richard Nixon had on the conflict.Nixon increased the bombing campaign, but also began peace talks (with a shove from the Democratically controlled Congress).

A great read, this is the go to source for those looking for the story of the Vietnam War.I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of Vietnam
Stanley Karnow is an excellent author who reports the history of Vietnam through multiple perspectives. If you ever had a question about Vietnam, READ THIS BOOK! ... Read more

2. Vietnam at War: The History: 1946-1975
by Phillip B. Davidson
Paperback: 864 Pages (1991-05-09)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$13.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195067924
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Weaving together the histories of three distinct conflicts, Phillip B. Davidson follows the entire course of the Vietnam War, from the initial French skirmishes in 1946 to the dramatic fall of Saigon nearly thirty years later.His connecting thread is North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap, a remarkable figure who, with no formal military training, fashioned a rag-tag militia into one of the world's largest and most formidable armies.By focusing on Giap's role throughout the war, and by making available for the first time a wealth of recently declassified North Vietnamese documents, Davidson offers unprecedented insight into Hanoi's military strategies, an insight surpassed only by his inside knowledge of American operations and planning.

Eminently qualified to write this history, Davidson--who served as chief intelligence officer under Generals Westmoreland and Abrams--tells firsthand the story of our tragic ordeal in Indochina and brings his unique understanding to bear on topics of continuing controversy, offering a chilling account, for example, of when and where the U.S. considered using nuclear weapons.The most comprehensive and authoritative history of the conflict to date, Vietnam at War sparkles with a rare immediacy, and brings to life in compelling fashion the war that tore America apart.We witness the chaos in Saigon when fireworks celebrating the Tet holiday are suddenly transformed into deadly rocket and machine-gun fire.We sit in on high-level meetings where General Westmoreland plans operations, or simply engages in some tough "headknocking" with subordinates.And in the end we learn that even the seemingly limitless resources of the U.S. military could not match the revolutionary "grand strategy" of the North Vietnamese.

With its easy movement from intimate memoir to trenchant military analysis, from the conference rooms of generals to the battle-scarred streets of Hue, this is military history at its most gripping.A monumental, engrossing, and unforgettable chronicle, Vietnam at War is indispensable for anyone hoping to understand a conflict that still rages in the American psyche. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Military Insider's Perspective
This war was doomed from the beginning. Donaldson takes us back to the period before WW II when France tried to colonize and rule a farflung oriental possession. The Chinese failed, then the French, then the Japanese, then the French again, and finally the US.
I've read this book twice. Once from a historian's perspective, and the second time from a military leader's perspective.Davidson is not a historian, but he is a knowledgable military leader who saw the war from inside, close up and from the perspectives of the civilian leadership decisionmaking (or lack thereof). Make no mistake, as you can imagine as a military leader, he comes down hard on the civilian leadership during the war, and rightfully so.As he said in the book, we needed a leader as president during that time and a president who would talk to the American people about the war and what was going on. We got neither. Both Johnson and later Nixon were probably the worst at keeping us informed on decisions and the course of the war.Instead we got slanted views from the media and were led to distrust what was coming from our military leadership during that time.We won the war militarily, no doubt, especially from 1965-1969. The US armed forces were superb on the battlefield. However, we lost the war in the court of public opinion and on the evening news through biased reporting and overemphasis on "body counts".
Donaldson's descriptions and examples of such key battles or operations as Tet, Rolling Thunder, and Khe Sanh from the American involvement, and Dien Bien Phu and other French debacles are poignant and accurate. We tried to defend a land and people who had never had to stand up for themselves. We have paid for it ever since. We will do it again somewhere else. Read this book with Stanley Karnow's "Vietnam a History" for a combined perspective on military aspects and a historians view.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Professional Soldier's View
General Davidson had the inside track on the Vietnam War, at least from the American side, and for the American portion of the war.As he rightly notes, the war was a Vietnamese war, first against the French (with some Vietnamese fighting with the French), then against the Americans (with many Vietnamese fighting with the Americans, including the majority in the South), and finally a purely fratricidal war with the stalwart Soviets and Chinese Communists backing the North while the feckless Americans backed (and ultimately failed to back) the South.

No one was in a better position to understand the American piece of the 30-year war than General Davidson. The primary value of this history is seeing the story through the eyes of a central participant. Davidson researched the French part of the war, and he kept up with the final struggle between the two Vietnams through American reporting and, later, through selected documents obtained from North Vietnamese sources.The core of the book, and the best part, is the central American war that Davidson participated in.Davidson properly thought it important to add the two other parts to present a full history of the Vietnamese struggle.

One could question whether or not General Giap deserved the heightened status that Davidson accords him.Davidson needed some way to tie all the pieces together, and he lit upon Giap as a qualified foil. He was qualified, but probably not the best qualified. There were a number of other Vietnamese, both North and South, who might have been chosen as well.Certainly Ho Chi Minh was the driving force in the North.The problem with picking him was that he died well before the war ended (while Giap survived the war). In the South there was the dominant figure of Ngo Dinh Diem, the one patriot who might have carried off the defense of the South against Ho Chi Minh's aggressive ambitions, but who was, of course, taken out by the blind machinations of Averill Harriman and Henry Cabot Lodge.Other candidates for the central role in the South were ultimately vanquished by the North, and thus disqualified by being absent at the finish.Still, the two striking figures were Ho Chi Minh in the North and Ngo Dinh Diem in the South, although neither lived to see the end of the war.

Davidson's book is superior to any other history written by the time he wrote his book.Subsequent historians, with access to larger documentation and historical pools of information, may well achieve a more definitive historical grasp.And, indeed, Davidson does not seek to put the war into any larger historical context.But all subsequent historians will draw on the special first-hand knowledge, and sense of the war, that Davidson employs in this essential work.

1-0 out of 5 stars Davidson makes a lousy historian
I am truly hating this book.I am still slogging through it as I have a genuine desire to understand the Vietnam conflict in detail.When I see coverage of the vietnam war in the media - be it films, or documentaries, I want to know how they relate to the big picture and understand both sides of the struggle.However, this book is so painful I really dont know if I will make it to the end.

The main problem is that Davidson has some major faults as a historian.First, as a previous reviewer mentioned, he definitely glosses over a lot.This is obvious to anyone reading the book who will immediately notice how vacous some descriptions are.Some of the accounts just dont feel full fleshed enough and it is from such a high level you are not drawn into the description.

Next, I was incredibly annoyed by his style.He seems to make some base assumptions about the readers knowledge of the war, and as such he makes comentary about decisions which recks any anticipation.For example, in a truly gripping historical account which makes the reader interested in the topic and rams facts into your head, you detail a political decision.You then show the reader how this grows into a real world action or series of actions.Then you critique the decision as an interesting summarization point of view.This book however, is plagued with examples of jumping the gun, where Davidson will detail some decision or political action, put in some personal critique explaining why this will be a terrible decision, then documents in dry detail (and sometimes not even too much detail) what happened.Of course you know what is going to happen already as he has thrashed it out in agonizing detail from a political / intelligence officer viewpoint already.

The end effect of all this is that the book is hopelessly and awfully boring.My personal view is that historical accounts have a duty to educate the reader by being interesting enough that the facts stick.This is fluffy enough that it couldn't be used as a referrence book, and terrible enough that I beg everyone out there to stick well clear of it.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Whitewashed General History of the Vietnam War
Lieutenant General Davidson (ret.) does a great job summarizing and analyzing the French war in IndoChina from 1946-1954, but fails miserably with the US campaign of 1965-1967 of which he was a part (as USMACV J-2, senior US intelligence officer in Vietnam).The author is a major apologist for General Westmoreland.Also, too much of the book centers on Washington politics rather than operational matters (which is a shame, he could have shed much light on the intelligence picture in the crucial 1967-8 campaigns).Davidson ignores the crucial Battle of Ap Bac in 1963, the Son Tay Raid, My Lai massacre and the participation of allies (ROK, Australia).The Crucial Tet campaign is glossed over - he never mentions the bloody Battle for Hue.The author is far too political and seems intent to present a white-washed "history".Maps are somewhat crude but plentiful and accurate.

5-0 out of 5 stars A detailed analysis of the war(s) in Vietnam
The book opens with an in-depth description of the little known historical figure who directed the Vietnam wars for 30 years--North Vietnamese Senior General Vo Nguyen Giap.In Giap's background and personality we first seethe seeds of determination that led ultimately to the defeat of three majorarmies: the French, the Americans, and the Army of South Vietnam.

Thewars are presented from a factual, and thoroughly researched, perspective. Davidson analyses both sides of each major strategy, and each key battle. A reader wanting to know what really took place in the Vietnam wars (oursand theirs), from a military perspective, will find the answers here.Andthe answers are sometimes surprising when compared to the newspaper andtelevison accounts which were published at that time. ... Read more

3. Vietnam: An Illustrated History (Illustrated Histories)
by Shelton Woods
Paperback: 186 Pages (2002-02-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078180910X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Vietnamese, a people historically dominated at various periods by empire nations including China, Japan, France, and United States, have never lost their identity. This volume examines Vietnam's major political, cultural, and social developments, and is a perfect introduction to this remarkable country. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars An OKAY book
Before reading this book I knew that it would be an overview of the history of Vietnam with little details; and I assumed this book would be a good starting point for me to explore Vietnamese history, but it didn't do the job for me.

The manner in which the author presented the order of events were confusing and very difficult to follow as it seems like he was jumping back and forth between decades/centuries. The grammar is untasteful and rough to my ears in spots of the book.The pacing of the book seemed inconsistent - he presented a lot of details in the beginning and the middle, but the ending was so abrupt and rushed...it didn't have any substance like the rest of the book.

On another note, it seems as though there are not many Vietnamese history books that goes back in the 1800s (mostly starting with the Vietnam War) - so I appreciate the author for writing this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars It would have gotten 4 stars but
The previous reviewer made good points about this book, it's brief but gives the reader a general view about Vietnamese history. It's very organized and uses a classical essay style of writing. It's a scholarly book, quite obviously written as a textbook. And therein lies the problem.

There are many assumptions that the author makes and he chooses to present them as facts. They may be scholarly assumptions but presenting them as facts is still misleading and therefore, wrong.

If Mr. Woods had simply said "It can therefore be assumed that ...", I would have gone ahead and given his book the four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent place to begin
If you would like to undertake the daunting task of studying the history of the little-understood country of Vietnam, this is the place to begin.Professor Woods book is brief, but not deficient.It is readable, concise, and entertaining--characteristics not often found in history texts.Furthermore, the illustrations and maps make the narrative come alive.While the book is too short to answer all of the student's questions, it will give general guidelines to launch a more comprehensive study of Vietnam and its related countries in Asia.Woods is a terrific scholar with the unique ability to cut through the scholarly jargon and verbosity to give the reader a clear overall picture of what Vietnam's history is all about. ... Read more

4. The History of Vietnam (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)
by Justin Corfield
Hardcover: 184 Pages (2008-02-28)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$24.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313341931
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Everyone knows Vietnam for its turbulent environment during the second half of the 20th century, but few know that archaeologists believe that civilization there existed as far back as the Bronze Age.Vietnam's history runs rampant with clashing dynasties, civil wars and power struggles between the North and South, and conflicts with neighboring and other countries. First ruled under China's close watch for centuries, Vietnam fell under conflicting commands of France and Japan during the 19th and 20th centuries-finally leading to the split of North and South Vietnam, and ultimately, the Vietnam War.Today, Vietnam still struggles with its scars from the past, but is slowly emerging as its own country, independent of China and France.An essential addition for high school and public library shelves, The History of Vietnam is the only reference book to examine Vietnam's complete history, from the 2nd century BCE to the present.

... Read more

5. The Vietnam War: A Graphic History
by Dwight Jon Zimmerman, Gen. Chuck Horner
Hardcover: 160 Pages (2009-09-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809094959
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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When Senator Edward Kennedy declared, “Iraq is George Bush’s Vietnam,” everyone understood. The Vietnam War has become the touchstone for U.S. military misadventures—a war lost on the home front although never truly lost on the battlefront. During the pivotal decade of 1962 to 1972, U.S. involvement rose from a few hundred advisers to a fighting force of more than one million. This same period saw the greatest schism in American society since the Civil War, a generational divide pitting mothers and fathers against sons and daughters who protested the country’s ever-growing military involvement in Vietnam. Meanwhile, well-intentioned decisions in Washington became operational orders with tragic outcomes in the rice paddies, jungles, and villages of Southeast Asia. Through beautifully rendered artwork, The Vietnam War: A Graphic History depicts the course of the war from its initial expansion in the early 1960s through the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, and what transpired at home, from the antiwar movement and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. to the Watergate break-in and the resignation of a president.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Vantage
For some this creative account of the Vietnam War will be an acceptable way of looking at that long and grizzly encounter called The Vietnam War.Many novelists and filmmakers and poets and artists haveinformed the public of the turmoil and agony that accompanied this long engagement while others have presented the war from either a positive Pentagon stance or that viewpoint of those who protested.This very well designed and drawn graphic novel seems more intent on just reporting the events of the entire encounter, and while there will be those who cannot accept the inclusion of the North Vietnamese viewpoint being included, we must at some point look at the entire picture.These men have done just that: writer Dwight Jon Zimmerman and illustrator Wayne Vansant state it in the book -"At first, when the war ended, a collective amnesia appeared to take hold of Americans. For years, it seemed no one wanted to remember anything about the war." Now perhaps is the time to study the entire problem - if for no other reason than to heal some wound and help prevent the same thing from happening in Afghanistan!Grady Harp, October 10

5-0 out of 5 stars 2010 Gold Medal Award Military Writers Society of America
The Military Writers Society of America has awarded THE VIETNAM WAR: A Graphic History its 2010 Gold Medal Award in the Artistic/Graphic category. It's a tremendous honor because MWSA has a very rigorous criteria.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great illustrations and captions, Clever and Effective Presentation
The book uses great illustrations using a cartoon like format to capture the history of the VietNam war. The facial expressions seem remarkably accurate to my memory of the figures involved, e.g. LBJ, Walter Cronkite, McNamera, and others. I think the authors have captured the Vietnam war very creatively using this format. The drawings are in a cartoon format, but have taken this format to a serious and more sophisticated level. The work e.g illustrates the victory of Tet on the ground, but the defeat in American opinion. Also, the Wayne Morse dissent on the Gulf on Tonkin resolution was portrayed well. I think the 1968 election between Humphrey and Nixon vis a vis Vietnam was done well in this book as well as LBJ not seeking re-election. The book also has a part on Watergate. The authors also delve into the MIA/POW issue.I would be prepared to give the book five stars until the last few pages when the epilogue did not discuss the boat people and persecution that took place at the conclusion of the war and instead stated that "On April 30,1975, the Vietnam War was well and truly over."I do not think the conclusion of the book was handled well. I feel justified in knocking off 2 stars and giving the book 3 stars. So much of the book was remarkably effective in illustrating the history of the conflict.I happened to take the book out of the public library, but I would recommend for purchase if you are interested in this topic and I think the book would make a wonderful gift as well.I also think that using this format could apply to other subjects of historical importance. In my experience, it is a new and innovative way of writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well researched, well written, wonderfully illustrated!
THE VIETNAM WAR: A GRAPHIC HISTORY is an outstanding chronicle of the Vietnam War, presented in a unique and visually stimulating way. It is well researched, well written, and superbly illustrated.It explains the tactical, strategic, and political decision making that made the war so unique and so infamous among the armed conflicts of our nation's history.

As I read through it, I immediately noted how valuable the book would be in explaining to the younger, more visually driven generations the circumstances of and around the Vietnam War.In a matter of hours, a teenager could have a solid footing and decent understanding of a military conflict that has been overshadowed recently by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.I especially respect the way Zimmerman and Vansant avoid overly gory or violent depictions, further adding to both the educational value and juvenile appeal of the work.

Vietnam veterans may find themselves giving this book as a gift to younger persons in their families to help explain the background behind the war, and to help interested family members better understand the language, situations, and climate both in the field and at home during that time.
Well done, educational, and enjoyable from start to finish.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Studied and Engaging Portrait of the War
My middle name is Michael, a name given to honor a fallen cousin, a brave man who died months before I was born. I never knew the Michael whose name I bear, and in truth, I never really knew the Vietnam War until now. Like every child of the '70s, I knew of it, about it, the basics. It cast a long shadow over everything. Friends with younger parents than mine even occasionally had fathers who had served, but the only constant among them was that none of them ever talked about it.

That's a truth acknowledged near the end of The Vietnam War: A Graphic History, the new--and utterly gripping--account from writer Dwight Jon Zimmerman and illustrator Wayne Vansant. "At first, when the war ended," Zimmerman writes, "a collective amnesia appeared to take hold of Americans. For years, it seemed no one wanted to remember anything about the war."

All these years later, Zimmerman and Vansant have remembered, and they've culled the overwhelming mountain of information about the war into an accurate and accessible book. Just a little over 140 pages, the book manages the complex (and seemingly impossible) feat of being both compact and yet comprehensively thorough. Beginning with the story of America's first real involvement with Vietnam in 1950--the opening portion of the book is entitled Commitment, and it comes quickly on the heels of an introduction from Gen. Chuck Horner (Ret.) that explains that the United States-led fighting coalition was committed but not dedication--The Vietnam War explains just what ensued over the next two decades, just how the country gained that commitment and what it did with it, and why and how it threatened to tear the country apart.

Vansant, himself a Navy veteran of the war, illustrates with the authenticity of someone who's been there. The art is most often not sequential; instead, it matches up with the text and illustrates the history of the war. In this way, it's like a textbook recounting of the war, but that's meant as a compliment. It's a studied and engaging portrait of the war. It doesn't need a sequential-art narrative to capture the reader.

I'm guessing that a lot of readers will engage with the text in the same way.

-- John Hogan ... Read more

6. DAYS OF VALOR: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War
by Robert Tonsetic
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2007-02)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$6.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932033521
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A nonstop maelstrom of combat action, leaving the reader nearly breathless by the end. The human courage and carnage described in these pages resonates through the centuries, from Borodino to the Bulge, but the focus here is on the Vietnam War, and a unique unit formed to take part at its height.

The 199th Light Infantry Brigade was created from three U.S. infantry battalions of long lineage, as a fast reaction force for the U.S. to place in Indochina. As the book begins, in December 1967, the brigade has been in Vietnam for a year, and many of its battered 12-month men are returning home. This is timely, as the Communists seem to be in a lull, and the brigade commander, in order to whet his new soldiers to combat, requests a transfer to a more active sector, just above Saigon. Through January the battalions scour the sector, finding increasing enemy strength, NVA personel now mixed within Viet Cong units. But the enemy is lying low, and a truce has even been declared for the Vietnamese New Year, the holiday called Tet.

On January 30, 1968, the storm breaks loose, as Saigon and nearly every provincial capital in the country is overrun by VC and NVA, bursting in unexpected strength from their base camps. In these battles we learn the most intimate details of combat, as the Communists fight with rockets, mortars, Chinese claymores, mines, machine guns and AK-47s. The battles evolve into an enemy favoring the cloak of night, the jungle-both urban and natural-and subterranean fortifications, against U.S. forces favoring direct confrontational battle supported by air and artillery. When the lines are only 25 yards apart, however, there is little way to distinguish between the firepower or courage of the assailants and the defenders, or even who is who at any given moment, as both sides have the other in direct sight.Many of the vividly described figures in this book do not make it to the end. The narrative is jarring, because even though the author was acompany commander during these battles, he has based this work upon objective research including countless interviews with other soldiers of the 199th LIB. The result is that everything we once heard about Vietnam is laid bare in this book through actual experience, as U.S. troops go head-to-head at close-range against their counterparts, perhaps the most stubborn foe in our history.

Days of Valor covers the height of the Vietnam War, from the nervous period just before Tet, through the defeat of that offensive, to the highly underwritten yet equally bloody NVA counteroffensive launched in May 1968.

The book ends with a brief note about the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colors after suffering 753 dead and some 5,000 wounded. The brigade had only been a temporary creation, designed for one purpose. Though its heroism is now a matter of history,it should remain a source of pride for all Americans. This fascinating book will help to remind us.


"... Tonsetic's account is a panegyric to the soldiers he served with rather than an attempt at a general history...the work is primarily about his own experiences and those of the people around him, collected from the personal recollections of participants and contemporary after-action reports. ..of interest to subject collections."Library Journal,02/2007

"...Tonsetic, who commanded an infantry company, relies heavily first person infantrymen to paint a picture of almost non-stop combat action..." Vietnam Veterans of America 04/2007

"... this book has no other purpose other than to disclose the valor and sacrifice of those who fought during this period. ... This book took me by surprise. I had begun the task to review a log of war, to gain new admiration of valor and courage. In the end, not only had I gained a renewed appreciation of courage and valor, but more importantly I had to come face to face with the enormity of loss and grief that is forever imposed on our soldiers. This book is a path to share that cost. " Reviewed by: Edward Fennell

"...will resonate with veterans, especially grunts who served anywhere in Vietnam....offers historical insights for today...a worthy memorial."Vietnam Magazine 12/2007

"... a spell binding account of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade's actions surrounding the Tet Offensive... an excellent memorial to the exploits of this fighting unit." Collected Miscellany, 06/2008

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Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Bought this book for the Kindle E-reader. Honestly, I couldn't put it down.Once I started reading it, every spare minute I got I would read a few more pages until I finished it.

Being too young to be drafted for the war, this book really gave me a whole new appreciation for those men and women who served our country in the Vietnam War.When I see those car bumper stickers that say "Vietnam Vet", this books makes me want to get out of my car at a stop light and go and thank that vet sitting in the car in front of me.

This is a must read for everyone who is under fifty years old.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vietnam from an Career Officer's Point of View
This is a good account of the Tet Offensive in III Corps written from a career officer's standpoint.The grunts are viewed as loyal tools for the officers who long for battle but circle overhead in a command and control heliocopter while the grunts are chopped up in the battle below.It gives a good critique of the officers involved and their readiness for battle and does not pull punches on the incompetency of a fellow officer.The attitude of the EM is probably as an officer saw it but not the men would have portrayed themselves if given a choice at the time of the action.It is a good read and should be of interest to those who had the misfortune of visiting Vietnam during those times as well as to those who did not.

4-0 out of 5 stars "All gave some, some gave all."
Robert Tonsetic's gripping account of combat in the 199th L.I.B. circa 1967-68, "Days of Valor," was hard to put down. Tonsetic's writing style makes you feel like you are watching the action unfold; having personally traversed some of the same real estate during that time frame helped bring the accounts into even sharper focus. That being said, I wished Tonsetic had included some sketch maps of the various actions to help orient the reader, especially when it comes to the disposition of the units involved, both friendly and enemy.There were also a couple of minor errors that I did pick out, but they are just that, i.e., nit noids. First, the map on page 148, "Saigon Targets of Tet Attacks," has the Newport Bridge in the wrong location; the map shows it connecting Saigon with Highway 1, when in fact the Newport Bridge actually crossed the Saigon River where his map shows "Highway 316;" this road was actually referred to as Highway 1A on US maps at the time. Highway 1A was the main thoroughfare connecting the Newport Docks with the huge Long Binh base, approximately 20 miles north.The other minor point is on page 262 where the author states: "The 199th's colors were furled, cased and placed in storage . . ."While this is an accurate statement, it does not tell the whole story; he should have mentioned that the 199th was later reactivated at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1991 as the 199th Infantry Brigade (Motorized). As the brigade chief of staff, I had the honor and privilege of wearing the Redcacther patch from December, 1991 until July, 1992 when we were reflagged as the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Light). A minor point, but one that helps fill in the picture of this proud unit and the brave soldiers who served in it, and especially to the memories of those who gave all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!Great Service.
The service from the bookstore was FAST!The book arrived in excellant condition and it was almost new.Thank You.

5-0 out of 5 stars Days Of Valor
This is one of the finest books of the Vietnam War. It focuses on a six month window of heavy Infantry combat involving the 199th Light Infantry (Seperate) Brigade. The Tet Offensive was a decisive period of the war. Col. Tonsetic painstakingly weaves personal stories of Infantryman throughout the whole book. His book uses mulitple soldiers, eye witness accounts, of enemy contact. It gives the reader a whole picture of how each event unfolded as seen by mulitple participants. Col. Tonsetic has amassed a verifiable masterpiece of Infantry combat. It's a true story of American soldiers who performed their extreme duties under very difficult circumstances. If you want to read a book about Vietnam that is absent of the political spin about the war, this is the book. It is a must read and valued addition to American military history.
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7. 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War
by Philip Caputo
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2005-09-27)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$12.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689862318
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
It was the war that lasted ten thousand days. The war that inspired scores of songs. The war that sparked dozens of riots. And in this stirring chronicle, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Philip Caputo writes about our country's most controversial war -- the Vietnam War -- for young readers. From the first stirrings of unrest in Vietnam under French colonial rule, to American intervention, to the battle at Hamburger Hill, to the Tet Offensive, to the fall of Saigon, 10,000 Days of Thunder explores the war that changed the lives of a generation of Americans and that still reverberates with us today.

Included within 10,000 Days of Thunder are personal anecdotes from soldiers and civilians, as well as profiles and accounts of the actions of many historical luminaries, both American and Vietnamese, involved in the Vietnam War, such as Richard M. Nixon, General William C. Westmoreland, Ho Chi Minh, Joe Galloway, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson, and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Caputo also explores the rise of Communism in Vietnam, the roles that women played on the battlefield, the antiwar movement at home, the participation of Vietnamese villagers in the war, as well as the far-reaching impact of the war's aftermath.

Caputo's dynamic narrative is highlighted by stunning photographs and key campaign and battlefield maps, making 10,000 Days of Thunder THE consummate book on the Vietnam War for kids. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
I bought this book for my husband , he spent 2 tours in Vietnam
liked the book

5-0 out of 5 stars In short, everything a young researcher needs to know about the war
Kids in grades 5-7 will find 10,000 Days Of Thunder to be a readily accessible survey of the Vietnam War which explores a war which lasted ten thousand days, sparking riots and controversy across America. Here are anecdotes from soldier and civilians, profiles of the actions of leaders, antiwar movements, and sidebars of quick facts paired with full-page maps, black and white and some color photos, and a dynamic coverage of key campaigns and battles: in short, everything a young researcher needs to know about the war.

5-0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: 10,000 DAYS OF THUNDER
"Last electric Sunday morning,
Waiting in the Park for the dawn."
--Paul Kantner (1970)

I arrived at the Park a little while past dawn on Sunday, greeted by vendors who were still setting up, and long lines of blue Porta-Potties that were standing shoulder to shoulder at attention. The morning prayer ritual was just about to commence.

Mayor Gavin Newsom had declared it "Chet Helms Day." We streamed into Speedway Meadows by the thousands to spend the day ingesting sights, smells, and musical sets provided by scores of aging musicians who'd played at Helms' Avalon Ballroom back in the Sixties. For me, having been slightly too young and on the wrong coast to have experienced those days first-hand, having snuck into a Long Island drive-in theater in high school (None of us had a car!) to see many of these same musicians (and some of the same audience members) captured in the Woodstock and Fillmore: The Last Days movies, Sunday served as community get-together, musical history lesson, dream fulfillment experience, and peace rally.

"Give me an F!" "F!"
"Give me a U!" "U!"
"Give me a C!" "C!"
"Give me an K!" "K!"
"What's that spell?"
"What's that spell?"
"What's that spell?"
"What's that spell?"
--Country Joe McDonald leading "The Fish Cheer," 10/30/2005

On the long crack-of-dawn bus ride down to San Franciso Sunday morning, I experienced Philip Caputo's 10,000 DAYS OF THUNDER: A HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR, a powerful record of the sights and significance of those days. As with the San Francisco music scene of the Sixties, I was just a couple of years too young to have needed to make any life-altering decisions regarding The Draft. But just as surely as I grew up listening to that music on the radio and seeing those movies at the drive-in and my first Dead show at the Nassau Coliseum, I also grew up experiencing the War.

But suddenly that War is so far in the past.

"Every year they say we're going to get right up to the present, but we always get stuck in the Industrial Revolution. We got to World War I in seventh grade--who knew there had been a war with the whole world."
--main character Melinda Sordino in Laurie Halse Anderson's, SPEAK

10,000 DAYS OF THUNDER is an incredibly timely book for adolescents who could well be looking war in the face in a few years. As a tenth-grade World History student standing in protest on the Capitol steps, listening to Phil Ochs and Coretta Scott King, I looked back at World War II which had ended a quarter-century earlier as if it were ancient history. For today's tenth-grade World History students, as the 2,000th American soldier falls in Iraq and Scooter Libby gets indicted as part of a tangled web of lies about the current War, the fall of Saigon is even further back into the past for them than Hiroshima was for me.

"The Vietnam War has three dubious distinctions: It was the longest and the most unpopular war in American history and the only war America ever lost."

Is it possible for a book about war to be beautiful? If so, this is that book. Designed with a large trim size, every right-hand page throughout the book contains a vivid close-up from the past of the children and adults who found themselves at the epicenter of this defining chapter in world and U.S. history. On the left-facing pages there is a combination of text, "Quick Facts," and smaller illustrations and graphics. The tale told by the text begins all the way back at the beginnings of Communism so that readers are provided with a real understanding of how it came to be that those of my generation watched filmed battle scenes and flag-draped coffins from halfway around the world on our childhood dinnertime news broadcasts.

Some of Caputo's "Quick Facts":

In 1954, following the French departure from Vietnam, President Eisenhower asked the army's chief of staff, General Matthew Ridgeway, to conduct a study of what American military aid would be needed to help the South Vietnamese defeat the Communists in Vietnam. Ridgeway reported that the United States would have to commit between 500,000 and 1 million men. President Eisenhower decided this was an impossible option, so instead chose to send minimal aid in the form of weapons, supplies, economic aid, and military and political advisors.

--Most troops arrived in Vietnam in airplanes. For many, the first memory of Vietnam was the 'wall' of intense heat combined with the pungent smells of sweat, dung, rotting vegetation, food, and smoke that would hit them the moment they stepped out of an airplane's cabin.

--A reliable evaluation of the number of Vietnamese people affected by Agent Orange is almost impossible. But a team of Canadian experts conducted an independent study of the contaminated regions in the Alvoi Valley in 1999. Their findings revealed that children born in sprayed areas were more than 8 times as likely to suffer hernias and more than 3 times as likely to have cleft palates, be mentally retarded, and have extra fingers and toes.

--The Selective Service System was composed of almost 4,000 local draft boards and staffed by unpaid volunteers, most of whom were white males who were veterans of earlier wars. A 1966 survey of 16,638 board members of the draft revealed that only 1.3 percent were African American.

--During the Vietnam War, U.S. Air Force bombers and fighter-bombers dropped an estimated 6.2 million tons of bombs. This amount, which does not include bombs dropped by U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and South Vietnamese aircraft, was almost 3 times the 2.2 million tons of bombs dropped in World War II.

As a kid I learned about those small lakes called kettle-holes that were created when a chunk of ice from one of the Ice Age glaciers that formed Long Island got stuck in the dirt and melted, leaving a round lake that still exists thousands of years later. There are areas on Long Island's South Fork where you see multiple kettle-holes near one another. One of the small-sized photographs included in Caputo's book shows an arial view of what appears to be a similar but much more intensive phenomenon in Vietnam. Only it was U.S. bombing that did the work of the epic glaciers.

There are so many of those "a-ha!" moments throughout 10,000 DAYS OF THUNDER.

"You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command"
--"Get Together," by the late Dino Valenti, as sung by his son and former bandmates, 10/30/2005

Philip Caputo's background as both a Pulitzer-winning journalist and a Vietnam Vet is consistently evidenced by the combination of wisdom, factual matter, and supporting materials that make 10,000 DAYS OF THUNDER both a great read and a great and essential teaching resource.

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8. Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays (Major Problems in American History)
by Robert McMahon, Thomas Paterson
Paperback: 544 Pages (2007-09-26)
list price: US$81.95 -- used & new: US$51.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618749373
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War incorporates new research expands its coverage of the experiences of average soldiers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Overrated!
I was required to read this book as part of a class, and unless you enjoy reading the same information repeated over and over you will not enjoy this book.

Some of the sources are decent reads, but the majority of the book's essays are long and dry.

If you're looking for a book on Vietnam I'd recommend you look some where else. Vietnam An American Ordeal by George Moss wasn't a bad read

5-0 out of 5 stars Great savings on college textbook!!!
I received the textbook in approximately 10 days and was very happy with my purchase.It saved me alot of money compared to the college bookstore price!

5-0 out of 5 stars vietnam
this book is such a waste of time, it tells you only the point of view of one's man ego and his denial of america's defeat by the north vietnamese. throughout the whole war,the u.s miltary only rely on body counts for there victory ,hoping the north vietnamese would fear the u.s army and surrender ,but in the end ,they were wrong ,the nva and viet cong were determine to fight to the death.

face it,even though the u.s military won many battles,the united states lost the war and retreated . the whole world is aware of this defeat but only some american citizen like this author denies this.

many of the vc casualty are infact innocent civilians ,that the u.s military has covered up by placing nva /vc uniforms and weapons on dead civilians ,then taking photographic pictures of it.

the united states gain nothing from the war ,with 60,000 + dead u.s soldiers ,thousands m.i.a (s) ,150,000 billion dollars down the drain ,over 100,000 seriously injured soldiers including amputees (missing legs,arms , body parts) ,and handicaps ,torn the country apart during the 60's and 70's ,fail to stop communism,fail to protect south vietnam,fail to stop an army that is 10 time smaller then u.s army,and fail to justified the war in rightious context,basically the united states gave up and retreated.

the north vietnamese suffered high casualty by fighting u.s army,australian army ,arvn army,south korean army,and new zealand all by them self ,but fighting to regain there country for a better vietnam in the future was a well justified reason to die just like anyother civil war (compared this to american civil war casualties).

so one's man ego and his obsession of denial will not change the world's view on why people should think who really won the war,everybody knows whowon this war,and media wasnt wrong at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good, although sometimes boring look at the Vietnam War
This book has a lot of good information in it.Through the essays you gain a deep understanding of some of the events that influenced the course of the war that other books cover only slightly or omit all together.

There are a couple HORRIBLE essays that seem to drag for a long long time.Each chapter concludes with 2 essays that either have differing points of view or cover different aspects of the chapter in more detail.

The blessing of this book is that it has a lot of information that comes directly from the Vietnamese, including some translations of South Vietnamese army members as they consider their defeat and flee Saigon after the North takes it over.

Over all, I like this book.At least one of the essays in the very beginning is bad enough that I almost put the book down and didn't pick it back up, but once you get past that, you are in for a good read!

4-0 out of 5 stars Lessons learned
As the book title and "a reader" suggests this is a book with tons and tons of essays on the Vietnam War.These essays cover just about everything that was political or social or anything else about the war.It has topics on Kennedy, Johnson, Eisenhower, Nixon, My Lai, The Tet Offensive, discrimination, the domestic homefront, etc.This book provided a great wealth of sources for a research paper that I had to do.However, unless you are really into the Vietnam War, or that era, this book may be a little dry some times.It does provide a lot of good information, such as facts and figures, but it is just a bunch of peoples, the scholars who wrote the essays, opinions; as well as some Vietnam Vets accounts of the war itself, coming home, etc.

I am giving it four out of five because of the dryness that sometimes occurs.Yet, it does remain a really good source for material, if one has to do research or just has general curiosity.Of course, by the end of the book, the reader will begin to see the lessons learned from Vietnam. ... Read more

9. Postcolonial Vietnam: New Histories of the National Past (a John Hope Franklin Center Book)
by Patricia M. Pelley
Paperback: 344 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$21.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822329662
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New nations require new histories of their struggles for nationhood. Postcolonial Vietnam takes us back to the 1950s to see how official Vietnamese historians and others rethought what counted as history, what producing history entailed, and who should be included as participants and agents in the story. Beginning with government-appointed historians’ first publications in 1954 and following their efforts over the next thirty years, Patricia M. Pelley surveys this daunting process and, in doing so, opens a wide window on the historical forces and tensions that have gone into shaping the new nation of Vietnam.
Although she considers a variety of sources—government directives, census reports, statistics, poetry, civic festivities, ethnographies, and museum displays—Pelley focuses primarily on the work of official historians in Hanoi who argued about and tried to stabilize the meaning of topics ranging from prehistory to the Vietnam War.She looks at their strained and idiosyncratic attempts to plot the Vietnamese past according to Marxist and Stalinist paradigms and their ultimate abandonment of such models.She explores their struggle to redefine Vietnam in multiethnic terms and to normalize the idea of the family-state.Centering on the conversation that began in 1954 among historians in North Vietnam, her work identifies a threefold process of creating the new history: constituting historiographical issues, resolving problems of interpretation and narration, and conventionalizing various elements of the national narrative. As she tracks the processes that shaped the history of postcolonial Vietnam, Pelley dismantles numerous clichés of contemporary Vietnamese history and helps us to understand why and how its history-writing evolved.

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10. A People's History of the Vietnam War
by Jonathan Neale, Howard Zinn
Paperback: 336 Pages (2004-09-03)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565849434
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The war in Indochina as seen by those who fought on both sides.

This latest addition to The New Press's People's History series offers an incisive account of the war America lost, from the perspective of those who opposed it on both sides of the battlefront as well as on the homefront.

The protagonists in Neale's history of the "American War" (as the Vietnamese refer to it) are common people struggling to shape the outcome of events unfolding on an international stage —American foot soldiers who increasingly opposed American military policy on the ground in Vietnam, local Vietnamese activists and guerrillas fighting to build a just society, and the American civilians who mobilized to bring the war to a halt.

His narrative includes vivid, first-person commentary from the ordinary men and women whose collective actions resulted in the defeat of the world's most powerful military machine. 11 black-and-white photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Important Reading
"A People's History of the Vietnam War" is important reading because it provides a new perspective on why the war happened and what we should learn from it.Probably many people still want to forget that war.Schools seem to give little time to discussing it and trying to learn from it.This book should be in all libraries and it should be required reading.Even if you do not agree with lthe analysis Jonathan Neale makes, it is important to read the book and seriously think about his analysis.Let us not treat the war in Viet Nam with too much simplicity because simple answers leads to poor conclusions and that means often repeating the same mistakes that leads to more loss of life.Read the book and consider carefully what Neale is saying.

Max Ediger, author Friendships of Gold

5-0 out of 5 stars When you thought nothing more could be said...
This book is part of the "People's History" series, conceived of by Howard Zinn. The most famous and well-read in the series is the one on the United States, and it is a shame that this one has not been more widely read, since, as Faulkner famously said, "The past is not dead; it is not even the past," and a significant aspect of this book is to relate the actions and events surrounding this war to contemporary ones. The "People's History" series is the antithesis of the "Big Man" theory of history, which attributes historical outcomes to a few; instead, it looks at how history is shaped by the broad actions of the many. Views of the Vietnam War are still a highly polarizing aspect of American society, hence the dispersion in the voting at Amazon, between the one and the five stars. The power elites in America can take some comfort in the fact that whenever someone wants to address the concentration in power and decision making, there are people willing to denounce the attempt as a "Trotskyite account." Communism may very much be dead, as it should be, but class divisions in American society have only grown.

I spent a year in Vietnam, in the field, September '68 to August '69, as a Medic, in a tank unit with the 4th Infantry Division. Since then I have read some 50 books on the war. No one book tells the whole story, for sure, and I've always admired the accounts of both Sheehan and Karnow, and certainly Greene's prescient "The Quiet American." Neale's account is in the same category: an essential read, and a prime reason is some of the unique aspects of the account.

Neale allocates an entire chapter to one of the "under covered" aspects of the war, entitled "The G.I.'s Revolt." It conforms largely to what I witnessed: a unit going from gung-ho to quiet mutiny within a year. Neale starts with Ron Kovic, who wrote "Born on the 4th of July," and who went from gung-ho to a wheelchair, from which he became one of the leaders of the veteran's anti-war movement.Neale wisely defuses the "Trotskyite rant" charge by quoting an article written in the "Armed Forces Journal" in June, 1971 by Colonel Robert Heinl, a Marine Corps historian, who compared the morale of American troops with those of the Nivelle Mutinies in the French army during World War I, and the disintegration of the Russian Army in the same war (as graphically depicted in the movie, Dr. Zhivago).

To the best of my knowledge his book is the only one to debunk one of the perennial"urban myths" spawned by the "spin doctors" of the war, that veterans were `spit on' by anti-war demonstrators when they returned home, and points to the movie "Coming Home" as a prime source, based on the work of Jerry Lembcke. He also looks at the other Hollywood fare which promoted the image of a "troubled Vietnam War veteran," the polite phrase for a psychotic. Another haunting aspect which he recalls, a quintessential searing image of the war, is the "improvements" made to napalm, first by adding polystyrene (so it would stick to the skin), and then the addition of "Willie Pete," (white phosphorous).

Overall though, it is a history of the war, starting with the French denouement, and he repeats aspects that are reported in other books, for example, the oft-quoted statement by Dwight D. Eisenhower that if elections were held, 80% of the Vietnamese would have voted for Ho Chi Minh. Thus elections had to be avoided, which they were, diminishing our purported advocacy of democracy. War deaths are placed at three million, and 20% of the G.I. war deaths are the result of "friendly fire." He quotes Halberstam on how a marine colonel spoofed McNamara, then the Secretary of Defense, with a routine involving "hard" numbers and percentages that was so comical that Jack Raymond, a NYT reported started laughing and had to leave, but McNamara bought the whole thing, highly praising the colonel.
(p 89)

He also covers the war in Cambodia, starting with the murderous B-52 bombings which almost certainly gave rise to one of the cruelest and most fanatical regimes of all time, the rule by the Khmer Rouge. Less we forget, Neale reminds us that the US allied itself with China for numerous years, promoting this government as the "legitimate rulers" of Cambodia so as to punish the Vietnamese for winning the war.

He brings the legacy of the Vietnam War forward through America's more recent wars in Yugoslavia and Iraq. An egregious mistake is made here, when he attributes the motivation behind the attacks of 9-11 to the "political situation in their own countries," and says: "Saudi Arabia... is one of the most brutal and reactionary dictatorships on earth."Ironic for someone trying to debunk so many of the myths of the Vietnam War that he is so willing to swallow the current "party line" by the promoters of the war on terror. Saudi Arabia is no Khmer Rouge, and even dictatorship does not apply to velvet-gloved authoritarianism.

But when he sticks to his main subject, he has provided a valuable 5-star contribution to our understanding of that tragic mistake.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vietnam War from a Class struggle point of view
Very interesting analysis of the class struggles both in Vietnam and the US, that as a consequence leaded to the Vietnam war. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars very good.
The war in Iraq and September 11th probably will be the defining event of the youth of the United States today when we look back in a few decades, in much the same way the war in Vietnam defined a generation of youth in the 1960s and 1970s. In a war that ended place a decade before most of those youth were born, what lessons can we take back? How exactly did the Vietnamese win? What were the social movements in the US that arose out of this conflict? Why are the myths of the American-Vietnamese War?

The trick to understanding a lot of history is that a lot of what was taught us growing up was simply wrong and just a particular point of view. "A People's History of the Vietnam War", by Jonathan Neale, does a fantastic job of presenting an excellent history that skips over the usual hoop-la about certain elite leaders of the war, and instead concentrates on a more systematic analysis of the war that took so many millions of lives. He sees the world in terms of class and therefore argues that the American ruling class got into Vietnam as a continuation of their policies aiming at domination of the globe. They needed to save South Vietnam, which was about a brutal a dictatorship as there gets, in order to shore up their support of other dictators throughout the world.

At the same time, he doesn't commit the same blunder that many other left-wing historians make in supporting elite cadre of the Communist Party either. He correctly identifies that the majority of the party leadership were the sons and daughters of the ruling landlord class, and though they wanted a better world and sought to destroy the class of their ancestors, they also made sure that they, the CP, stayed on as rulers. They did lead a mass mobilization of peasants which liberated their land and carried out a revolution, and life was much better under the CP than it was under the French, but at the same time as Vietnam liberalizes its economy, it is the Party which mainly benefits from it.

Neale makes a pretty convincing argument that three main factors led to the defeat of the United States military in Vietnam by the Vietnamese forces. 1) The main one was the peasants revolt, led by the Communists and guerillas, in which hundreds of thousands of fighters gave their lives to bring a new future to their country. Millions of peasants died in bombings, slaughters, and executions, but they never gave up. When the Viet Cong (the South Vietnamese guerrilla group) was nearly annihilated following the Tet offensive and Operation Phoenix by US special forces, North Vietnamese units filled the void and gave everything until the truce of 1973 five years later. By the time of that truce, the guerrillas of the south and soldiers of the north were completely exhausted.

The second factor for why the US could not win the war (which it could have done given a few more hundred thousand dead soldiers, a few more million dead civilians, and a few more years of death and war) was because of the US Peace movement. This is where Neale does a masterful job of shattering myths. He points out that the Peace movement is remembered mainly as being fought on campuses by middle-class students and that white workers usually were pro-war. This is simply not true. In fact, a greater percentage of middle-class Americans supported the war, and the great majority of working-class Americans were against the war, mainly because it was they who were dying in the war and returning home maimed and psychologically damaged because of the atrocities they were forced to commit. In this atmosphere of civil rights struggles, black and white workers were at the forefront of joint struggles against the war. In fact, Neale argues that a big limit of the student anti-war organizers was that they did not reach out to working class people as much because they had built-in assumptions about racist white working class people being pro-war. In fact, because of the large scale of the anti-war movement, it became hard to mobilize the country's military resources without facing political defeats at home.

There's a great passage here about President Johnson listening to a Pentagon whiz kid in 1966, two years before the war became hugely unpopular, saying the carpet-bombing Hanoi and several key North Vietnamese ports would end the war early, and argues that after feeding numbers into a computer,the Pentagon knowsthat the atoms bombs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers. Johnson responds:

"I have one more problem for your computer- will you feed into it how long it would take five hundred thousand angry Americans to climb the White House wall out there and lynch their President if he does something like that?"

The third factor argued by Neale which lead to the victory of the Vietnamese resistance was the GI revolt. By the end of the war, soldiers refusing to fight, fragging their officers who led them into dangerous missions or other stuff like racism towards black soldiers, and everyday acts of resistance by a huge chunk of the GIs in Vietnam led to an impossible task of the generals pushing forward when they were not even sure they could trust their own soldiers. On nearly every military base in the world, there was a radical underground soldiers newspaper which wrote articles about their dangerous superiors and anti-war material in general. Towards the end of the war, President Nixon switched to almost exclusively air war by carpet bombing North Vietnam and the countryside's of South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, supporters of the Communists.

Neale does a great job explaining the huge effect on post-war Vietnam and United States. The United States proceeded to isolate Vietnam with its alliance with China and the Khymer Rouge in Cambodia. China even invaded Vietnam because of it's occupation of Cambodia after after the Khymer Rouge proceeded to destroy what was left of Cambodia after the massive firebombing of 1973 by the US air force. Gradually, the state rolled back the communal lands that the peasants had won in the war from the landlord class, until the point where today Vietnam is becoming a massive sweatshop in conjunction with large multinational corporations. In the United States, the ruling class learned not to commit to a long ground war, and instead embarks on a big counter-offensive against the gains of marginalized people (People of color, women, gay movements, working people) beginning in the 1980s. They learned the lessons of not letting a large amount of soldiers commit to ground operations, else that breeds massive dissent. The book was written right before the invasion of Iraq in early 2003, and aptly predicted a long ground war in Iraq.

Anyway, this was a great read and very well done. I can't recommend it enough.

1-0 out of 5 stars History should not be fact based
Amazon forces you to give stars. I would have given none.

While the history parts of the book appear accurate, (because it is all based on the research of others) a history book should be factual and not opinionated. The author uses the excuse of the subject to get on his soap box and go on about the angst of the worker. This book gets predictable and boring fast. I appreciate books and the written word and will almost always pass a book on rather than see an author's work wasted. However, I am tossing this book in the recycling bin to avoid it falling into the hands of someone who might listen to this nonsense and take it is as fact rather than an angry man's opinion. No one should be fooled by the word history in the title. This is an essay by a cold war Trotskyisk looking to make waves.

I have no anomosity towards the Vietnamese people as my wife is Vietnamese and I have a lot of family there. However, the author fails to point out how the people of Vietnam prefer to forget about the war and look to the future. He also fails to point out that the U.S. is now one of the leading trading partners with Vietnam. But, I imagine that is current affairs and not history, so it does not fit into the author's scope of work.

I am disappointed in this publisher and will be wary of spending money on any of their publications in the future. What a waste of money! If you are really interested in a history of Vietnam, read Stanley Karnow. Thank you. ... Read more

11. LAND WITH NO SUN: A Year in Vietnam With the 173rd Airborne (Stackpole Military History Series)
by Ted G. Arthurs
Paperback: 352 Pages (2006-07-10)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$11.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811732908
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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You know it's going to be hot when your brigade is referred to as a Fireball unit. From May 1967 through May 1968, Ted Arthurs was in the thick of it, humping an eighty-pound rucksack through triple canopy jungle, chasing down the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. As sergeant major for a battalion of 800 men, it was his job to see them through this jungle hell and get them back home again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Personal Account of Combat During the Vietnam War
This book caught my attention because I knew Ted Arthurs when he was first sergeant of Company D, 501st Airborne Infantry at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1958-59. I was a not-so-young (29) lieutenant and the company XO. So I can confirm that he was an outstanding first sergeant. A good yarn really appeals to me and his book is full of them. There is a lot of good advice for both officers and NCOs serving at battalion or lower level in any war. It also describes some good combat skills and practices which should be valuable to soldiers in combat units. Although I served in the Central Highlands in 1971-72, a couple maps showing the Dak To area and the numbered hills where the action took place would have made his descriptions easier to follow. This is an interesting account of Infantry combat in Vietnam by a man who was there. We need more books like this.

5-0 out of 5 stars RVN in the Raw
"Land With No Sun" tells the story of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the central highlands of South Vietnam in 1967-68.This reviewer always thought the term "central highlands" was misleading, carrying an almost benign vibe.In fact, the combat in LWNS is mostly in triple canopy jungle, down and dirty, brutal, poignant and gritty.The action recounted here is as realistic as any this his reviewer has read, though ranking Vietnam tales is virtually impossible to quantify and ultimately unfair to all. This RVN vet, who was not in the infantry, was fascinated to learn that the pack grunts humped into combat was 80(!) pounds and included an entrenching tool (a shovel to civilians) and sand bags. LWNS is a fine tribute to the troopers who fought an intractable foe in some of the toughest terrain in country.The author, CSM Arthurs, obviously had great respect for his men which must have been returned many times over. Most enlisted men know that respect from a higher up is not automatic but gratefully received.LWNS also should be commended for excellent type setting-it's very easy on the eye.That is another factor that is not automatic. The only criticism this mapophile can levy on LWNS is the lack of any MAPS! It's too bad such a professional publication omitted an element so basic. This reader knows where Dak To is-it's north of Pleiku-but many may not. That rant is insufficient to warrant the subtraction of that fifth star.LWNS is absolutely recommended to vets of the 173rd and also to anyone formerly based in the Pleiku-Kontum-Dak To AOs.

4-0 out of 5 stars Land with no Sun
Having served with the 173d Airborne Brigade (I was in Jump School in Ft. Benning Georgia when these battles took place), I thought this book to be an accurate, although somewhat repetitive, account of what life was like in an Infantry Company during the early years of the Vietnam War.Also I have met Larry (Chingo) Okenda, and have read his account of the battles of Dak To.The two books complement one another.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb stories by A Thoughtful and Careful Author
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2GRHVVL4CN8JD In this video review I tell you who will like "Land With No Sun" and I give you some background on the author.Please join me!

5-0 out of 5 stars ...to the point
This book is full of facts and shows the selflessness of the Sky Soldiers of the 173d Airborne Brigade. The Author does well in presenting all the service of the 4/503rd INfantry at that time. A good read! ... Read more

12. Vietnam: Anthology and Guide To A Television History
 Paperback: 512 Pages (1983-06-01)
list price: US$44.75
Isbn: 0075544296
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Nearly 150 documents provide numerous views of issues and events of the Vietnam War. Chapters contain historical summaries, timelines, a comprehensive glossary, documents with headnotes, photos, cartoons, maps, charts, issues for discussion, and suggestions for further reading. Each chapter corresponds to the PBS telecourse. -- (Softcover) ... Read more

13. Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History
by Wallace Terry
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1985-07-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345311973
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Simply the most powerful and moving book that has emerged on this topic." UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
The national bestseller that tells the truth of about Vietnam from the black soldiers' perspective. An oral history unlike any other, BLOODS features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off in disproportionate numbers and the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, BLOODS is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective.
Cited by THE NEW YORK TIMES as One of the Notable Books of the Year
... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why the truth hurts.....
This book covers many aspects of the American War in Vietnam through stories told by young men who undoubtedly were there. It seems not to be written with any whish to be sensational. The book is nevertheless captivating and sometimes shocking to say the least. I really don't think it's focused on black people per se, the stories are universal. The racial issues are just sad and hopefully something buried forever with that generation. Having read many books on the Vietnam War I would have to put this on my must read top five list.
I know books, just like art, might have a different appeal to different people so if you like to read about unfiltered personal experiences seemingly without a hidden agenda this is for you.
Also I would challenge anyone Gung Ho about going to war to read this first, it ain't pretty!

4-0 out of 5 stars Gripping
People who like this book, or are interested in it, may also like to check out the following: The Slaves' War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves.

I'm surprised that the "most-helpful" unfavorable review says that "Bloods" is "repetitive and boring", and that "every time I turned the page, ... it was basically the same story almost every time". As other reviewers have noted, Mr. Terry interviews veterans from an astonishing range of backgrounds. Their wartime experiences and post-war opinions are equally diverse.

For example, one soldier was inducted in handcuffs, while Fred Cherry was a no-nonsense career officer who spent much of the war in a North Vietnamese prison camp. Some veterans were proud of their service, while one said, "I feel used. I feel violated."

I got my copy of Bloods from Mr. Terry himself, at the University of Illinois in the 1980s, when he did a tour promoting the book. I left my copy with a black co-worker named David Snell, when I changed jobs in 1990. I'm very happy to see that it's still available, and plan to buy it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars if you liked the movie "dead presidents"
I saw the movie "dead presidents" before i read this book. After i read one of the stories in the book, i realized the hughes brothers basically stole there idea for there movie from this book. Don't get me wrong, i love the movie and this book is an amazing read. I'm feeling the hughes brothers should have given credit where it is due though. If you liked the movie, this book is a must read and vice versa.

5-0 out of 5 stars Illuminating, painful, and memorable
This fascinating collection of concise, first person accounts of fighting in Vietnam provides many surprises and more sighs. Focusing on the struggles of "Bloods", the African-American soldiers, these personal stories reflect the entire gamut of reactions to racism, war, and poverty. Some found solace, meaning, and purpose in the war effort; others felt crushed, betrayed, and lose limbs. All convey their passions, insights, and experiences in a compelling manner.

As America fights yet another unpopular war abroad and minorities once again shoulder an exceptional burden, this powerful book should find new audiences. School libraries, American history teachers, ROTC members, and African Americans will want to read, or should read, this classic oral history. So should any American interested in making sure that Dr. Martin Luther King's dream comes true - for all Americans!
Wallace Terry, by the way, has written a masterpiece!

5-0 out of 5 stars I give the book five stars, and that is not because I am in it!!!!
I would love to respond to all of the comments and customer reviews. My name is Traci Daniels, and my father Robert L. Daniels, one of the soldiers profiled in this book, just passed away on January 3rd, 2008. I was in the picture with him in the book and am now a 27 year old successful businesswoman. My father and I were fiercely close, and the pain, mental and physical anguish that he suffered due to Vietnamstill lives on with the current conflict in Iraq. I, too, would also love to know what happened to some of the other participants in the book. Please respond if you are out there, and God bless you. ... Read more

14. Vietnam: A History
by Stanley Karnow
CD-ROM: 200 Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$28.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786158166
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In this comprehensive history, Stanley Karnow demystifies the tragic ordeal of America's war in Vietnam. The book's central theme is that America's leaders, prompted as much by domestic politics as by global ambitions, carried the United States into Southeast Asia with little regard for the realities of the region. Karnow elucidates the decision-making process in Washington and Asia and recounts the political and military events that occurred after the Americans arrived in Vietnam. Throughout, he focuses on people, those who shaped strategy and those who suffered, died, or survived as a result.

Panoramic in scope and filled with fresh revelations drawn from secret documents and from exclusive interviews with hundreds of participants on both sides, Vietnam: A History transcends the past with lessons relevant to the present and future. ... Read more

15. The Vietnam War (Essential Histories: War and Conflict in Modern Times)
by Andrew Wiest
Library Binding: 96 Pages (2008-09)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$29.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1404218459
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16. Vietnam and America: The Most Comprehensive Documented History of the Vietnam War
Paperback: 560 Pages (1995-07-14)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802133622
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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This complete history of the Vietnam War, as documented in essays by leading experts and in original source material, presents selections from the documented record, dispels distortions, and illuminates in depth both sides of the history of America's encounter with Vietnam. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars A valuable resource for the persistent reader
The collection of essays and official documents comprising this Vietnam history book can be quite a challenge to negotiate, perhaps even for the most serious Vietnam War readers.Personally, I recall reading this book during my (horrible) recovery from having my wisdom teeth removed, which provided the very ironic context for my pushing through the numerous essays, government documents, and accounts presented by the editors.For me, being someone who reads Vietnam War history as a hobby, it was one of those books that I knew was highly valuable while I was reading it, yet this type of enjoyment was often not accompanied by the "can't put it down" type of reading experience.
Overall, however, I would say that the richness, diversity, and balance of the material serves to compensate for any deficiencies the book might have in the excitement and engrossment arena.I often find myself referring back to the book while reading other Vietnam works.I would therefore recommend this book, but with the strong caveat that it should only be taken on if one is prepared to move through the heavy, sometimes even "boring" material in order to reap the substantial benefits yielded by this effort.

3-0 out of 5 stars A meaty political review of the Vietnam conflict.
Full of primary source materical, Vietnam in America provides an amazingamount of information on the events leading up to and the involvement ofthe United States in the Vietnam War.Whether its abstracts from Ho ChiMinh or CIA incursion force leaders, this book contains a great deal ofdata not to be found in other like works.A tough reader, this book is notsuggested for casual reading and should be used for the diehard historybuff or for research material. ... Read more

17. The Vietnam War 1956-1975 (Essential Histories)
by Andrew Wiest
Hardcover: 96 Pages (2003-07-24)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415968518
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The Vietnam War was arguably the most importantevent for America in the twentieth century. The US entered the conflict with doctrines modelled for the Cold War and a mission to wipe out Communism, but the reality of war in Vietnam confounded all expectations. This book chronicles the bloody guerrilla warfare that ensued. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars Learn to punctuate!!(Or employ a decent proofreader)
The book was serviceable in terms of the type, amount, and quality of information that I was seeking - a quick overview of the major events surrounding the Vietnam War.

HOWEVER - the "quick" overview was repeatedly marred by the unwillingness of either the author or the publisher's proofreaders to use commas.Commas are left out of practically any introductory sentence clause that they think they can get away with.I had heard from a literature instructor that commas can be considered "optional" if a clause has fewer than 5 words, or some "rule" like that.

After suffering through the reading of this book, I must now vehemently disagree with whoever promotes this new notion of sparse comma use.Regardless of whether it is possible to make sense of the sentence, by an analysis of, and elimination of, word clusterings that don't make sense, *this makes the reading process needlessly slowed and laborious* because there are many combinations of words that the mind is prone to consider as potential clauses in a sentence, and the traditional use of commas helps readers to quickly and efficiently eliminate most of those possibilities and to quickly steer the attention where the author had intended, with a minimum of speculation.

In this book, however (and this problem grew worse as the book went on), there are many sentences that make for annoying reading because what should have been an easy-to-relate concept instead offers numerous distractions as one has to take extra time to parse a nearly punctuation-free sentence.Granted, it can be figured out, but why doesn't the author and publisher do some of that work for us, using punctuation, in a manner that has now been traditional for a couple of centuries of non-fiction writing?(The writing is not particularly complicated so much as clunky, and thus in some cases don't necessarily benefit from added punctuation.However, a dearth of punctution certainly makes the writing sound much worse!)

I need to cite some examples for anyone to take my review seriously, so here are a few from selected pages:

Pages 72-73:
"At first US support for the Laotian government took the form of military aid and advisors, but as war loomed in Vietnam the situation changed dramatically, for the North Vietnamese intervened in Laotian affairs, partly to secure the Ho Chi Minh trail."
"The daring Hmong tribesmen, supplied by the CIA, operated Air America and augmented by Thai troops, also performed several other duties including surveillance of the Ho Chi Minh trail and secret forays into North Vietnam itself." [sic]
Page 87-88:
"Economically Vietnam suffered from a botched attempt at agricultural collectivization, continued war and isolation from the west."
"In an effort to exact a measure of revenge in February 1979 Chinese forces invaded the northern provinces of Vietnam - only leaving after having taught the Vietnamese a sufficient 'lesson.'"
Page 92:
"In both nations universities and centers of study dedicate themselves to understanding the culture and history of their ex enemy."[sic]

There are also some misspellings ("lynchpin," "adn" on pgs. 36 and 91) and some unexplained date discrepancies that required me to check other sources to verify or make chronological sense of the information being presented.(Page 57 - was the ceasefire on January 8 or 27?Page 24 - the "final stage" of the Tet Offensive plan stated as a siege that is dated 10 days before Tet was stated as beginning.Page 88 - a statement that the Vietnamese would remain in Cambodia for 20 years after they had gained control of it, contradicted in the very next paragraph by the statement that the Vietnamese troops withdrew in 1988.)

This product needs some serious re-editing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Insight Into A Sensitive Topic
The book is a fairly easy read and a good addition to Osprey's Essential Histories collection.It is well organized and mostly follows a chronological order.Although the battle coverage is somewhat superficial, the author does give sufficient attention to some of the main conflicts.Also, this coverage is given from both sides.For example, the author discusses U.S. offensive action at the battles of the Ia Drang Valley, Tet, and the secret campaign into Cambodia.He also discusses the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive and the final Ho Chi Minh Campaign.

This book, however, does more than just cover the war.The author adds value to the story by placing it in context with the counter culture and Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.In order for anyone to understand why America lost the Vietnam War, they must understand the domestic factors affecting U.S. policy.One chapter brings home this point by focusing on a specific conscientious objector.

Finally, the book provides unique insight into the collapse of South Vietnam by looking at economic factors.Most books will talk about a corrupt and ineffective government as a leading cause for their defeat.The author shows true brilliance by showing that nothing is ever quite that simple.He discusses how the loss of US monetary aid caused massive inflation.When the United States withdrew its forces, it left South Vietnam with a technologically superior and battle tested, one million man military.Unfortunately, U.S. economic policy ensured that the South Vietnamese Government would not be able to maintain this army.The loss of US aid meant that this formidable fighting force was short of such essentials as fuel and ammunition.

Because the book is a quick overview of the conflict, it cannot cover everything.For example, it does not discuss the fact that the U.S. broke its promise to defend South Vietnam as a condition of the Paris Peace Accord.Nevertheless, it does cover the main events of the war and place them in the context of the times.The information on the Civil Rights movement and US economic policy adds true value to this book.The author is able to show that despite the fact that the US won every major battle and then left behind a vastly superior ARVN military, the war was lost due to political and economic factors.In essence, the U.S. was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.The reader can only hope that we do not repeat ourselves in the ongoing war on terror.

4-0 out of 5 stars 'Cliff's notes" version of history
This is a excellent concise history of the worse 'war' in the 20th century.It covers the transition of powers from various peoples such as Chinese, French, Japanese, and various factions of Vietnamese.For novice, this will get you up to speed and even comments on the current Iraq 'war'.Two chapters are personal commentaries from a veteran and a conscientious objector.The latter seem not to flow with the book and could be left for larger works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I Needed for 96 pages!

Concise, to the point, balanced, well written, with all the main facts chronologically, different points of views and different theatres (Vietnam/America) of the conflict.

Excelent maps and sufficient pictures.

The book is one of the best (or even the best) of the Essential Histories Series by Osprey.

It is just the short and precise military history of the entire conflict that I wanted to read.

Also: a neat and well-organised book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A clear, concise overview of the Vietnam War
This book is written in a clear style, with plenty of maps and pictures. It gives a concise overview of the Vitenam War in all of its major aspects. It doesn't limit itself to the war's military operations, but delves into the broader issues.

For example, the book examines the causes and development of the anti-war movement in the US and its relationship with the civil-rights movement. The book also surveys the consequences of the Vietnam War until the present, both in SE Asia and in the US.

This is a clear and concise book, and I highly recommend it. Being only 25 years old and not an American citizen, I had only a very sketchy knowledge of the Vietnam War. This book served as a very nice introduction. ... Read more

18. Is Anybody Listening?: A True Story About POW/MIAs In The Vietnam War
by Barbara Birchim
Paperback: 496 Pages (2005-05-25)
list price: US$25.45 -- used & new: US$25.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1420837486
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Thirty-five long years and I was still seeking answers. If I could make someone in the government listen to the facts, I knew they'd want to act on them. After all, who wouldn't want to find one of our POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War? IS ANYBODY LISTENING? tells of dignitaries, presidents and those involved with the POW/MIA issue as I've known it since November 1968 when my husband, a Special Forces officer, became missing-in-action. The pages reveal my feelings and torment during my many trips to Southeast Asia in search of answers, and my frustrations while wandering the halls of Washington D.C. for help. The book was written to show the issue's insidious cover-up and my commitment to the truth. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking Story and Very Eye-opening!
This book is very good...It is well written and a fast read. I could not put it down.
The story is gut-wrenching and I have come away, once again, very angry and frustrated with out goverment!
It tells a story of a POW'S wife and her quest for the "real" truth behind her husband's disappearance. The lengths she has gone to to get answers are unreal. She is a hero herself for standing up and never giving up.
This is one of my more favorite books regarding the Vietnam Pow's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best First Person Version of USG Betrayal of POWs in VN
Orin Deforest titled his book on Viet-Nam failures in intelligence Slow Burn: The Rise and Bitter Fall of American Intelligence in Vietnam.George Allen wrote the definite story in None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam.Michael Hiam illuminated the "reasonable dishonesty" of our intelligence process in Who the Hell Are We Fighting?: The Story of Sam Adams and the Vietnam Intelligence Wars.

I have read one previous book on the POWs, Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POWs in Vietnam but this book, in combination with An Enormous Crime: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia makes me very very very angry.

This book is a heart-breaking contrast between the loyalty and love of a woman for her man, and the pathological betrayal by the U.S. Government.We now know that Henry Kissinger is a war criminal (see The Trial of Henry Kissinger, that Johsnon covered up the assassination of Kennedy by CIA-trained Cuban exiles (see Someone Would Have Talked: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Conspiracy to Mislead History and I am personally persuaded that 9-11 was, as Webster Tarpley tells us 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Fourth Edition.

I recommend all these books to those who would wish to restore the Constitution, smash the corruption of both the Congress (see Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It) and the Executive (see Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency).

Our government, at the political level and with the complicity of our craven flag officers--generals and admirals--is murdering and abandoning American warriors and citizens.ENOUGH!We need complete transparency, and several truth and reconciliation commissions: on the genociding of the Native Americans, on the continued discrimination against people of color, on the virtual colonialism, unilateral militarism, and predatory immoral capitalism that our government embraces "in our name."

ENOUGH.This book had really frightened, and empowered me.ENOUGH.

See also:
Why We Fight
The Fog of War - Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin

5-0 out of 5 stars A REVEIW FROM OUR PAST

5-0 out of 5 stars The Stuff of Nightmares, and It's All True
I love my country and I couldn't be more proud to have served two and a half decades in its military.But neither our government nor our military are perfect.Sometimes the mistakes and transgressions are small, and sometimes they're enormous.

Barbara Birchim and Sue Clark pull back the sheets and reveal one of the really big ones.Maybe the biggest of them all -- the calculated decision of our leaders, past and present, to turn their backs on the POWs and MIAs who are still missing.

Barbara's husband, Army Captain Jim Birchim, has been missing in action since something went terribly wrong during a rescue mission in Vietnam in 1968.The story of Barbara's search for details about Captain Birchim's disappearance will break your heart and chill your soul.The response of our own government to her relentless inquiries will shock you to the core.

- Jeff Edwards, award-winning author of Torpedo

4-0 out of 5 stars POWAFFAIRSS.E. ASIA
I HAVE READ A NUMBER OF BOOKS ON VIETNAM POW ACCOUNTS:COL NICK ROWES' 5 YEARS TO FREEDOM, FRANK ANTON- WHY DIDN'T YOU GET ME OUT?KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE & SPITE HOUSE BY MONIKA JENSEN- STEVENSON, AND THE MEN WE LEFT BEHIND.This is a heart breaking account of seeking the truth through the govt. red tape.Evidence supports the fact that we left servicemen behind in Laos and Cambodia.As former military, I am deeply saddened by what appears to be true.Through the pipeline, President Reagan was the last Commander in Chief to sanction rescue missions into S.E. Asia to search for POW s.Former SPEC OP WARRIORS are very tight lipped on this subject.Former Special Forces Sgt. Isaac Camacho escaped from Laos in 1965 and was never debriefed until the early seventies.Only a handful of military men escaped from captivity during the Vietnam War.Why did the govt. never utilize their knowledge?General Tighe, former director of the Defense Intell. Agency 1974 - 1981 has stated that he believed we had indeed left servicemen behind.

Be prepared, reading these books can hit you with emotion, I believe you will learn of a sad chapter in U.S. history- servicemen who deserved better from their government for their efforts during the Vietnam War. ... Read more

19. America's War in Vietnam: A Short Narrative History
by Larry H. Addington
Paperback: 208 Pages (2000-04-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$10.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0253213606
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

"This book has been long needed: a concise, complete and dispassionate survey of the Vietnam War.... Best of all, the no-nonsense approach answers questions as soon as they arise in the reader's mind." -- Kliatt

"If there is such a thing as an objective account [of the Vietnam War], this is it.... If you want to read one book about Vietnam, read this one." -- New York Review of Books

A short, narrative history of the origins, course, and outcome of America's military involvement in Vietnam by an experienced guide to the causes and conduct of war, Larry H. Addington. He begins with a history of Vietnam before and after French occupation, the Cold War origins of American involvement, the domestic impact of American policies on public support, and the reasons for the ultimate failure of U.S. policy.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Response
The first word in this book is "Vietnam," and the last two words are "folly there."That sums up the author's view of American involvement in Vietnam.

I appreciated the brevity of the book; I finished it in only two evenings.The author explains clearly the military problems the US faced there, how they found themselves caught up in a war they couldn't win, at least in a way acceptable to world opinion, but also a war they couldn't disengage from without endangering the South Vietnamese they'd vowed to help.The book could have used more maps and at least some photos.

The author portrays the North Vietnamese in a favorable light, with Ho Chi Minh coming off as almost a hero; the chief culprits are America's policy makers and presidents, particularly Johnson, who were driven by anti-communist paranoia.This is the part that left me puzzled.The US government is certainly a flawed instrument, but I find it hard to believe the North Vietnamese communists were as benign as this book makes them out to be.There was a reason why America was so opposed to communism then, but this book doesn't address it.

So this book was useful for a quick read on the military operations in Vietnam, but less so in addressing (even in brief) the larger issues of US involvement there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what I was looking for
The book provides are very thorough accout aobut the tactics employed during the war and the battles that resulted.The level of detail is tremendous and the book is well written.However, I was hoping for a more thorough examination of the sociological effects of the war, particularly here in the US.Maybe there is another book that I can read for this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Summary
It is a rare book that can effectively summarize a long war and a longer historical process in a short space, yet this book does so with gem-like clarity. It is also extraordinarily evenhanded--a great accomplishmentgiven the depth of feeling surrounding the war. The text weaves variousperspectives into the narrative so well that I always felt unimpeded bybias and appreciative of its broad objectivity. The author keeps the largerfocus on the main political and military issues which shaped the war yetalways includes enough detail to give a strong sense of what was takingplace both in policy circles and on the ground.The author has clearymastered a great deal of material and keeps to the facts, yet through it Iwas deeply moved. I think there is a subtle tone to the book of compassionfor human tragedy that makes it not just highly readable but important toall of us who struggle to understand human events, and particularly thiswar.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Whole Story--Complete and Concise
I was young while the vietnam war was taking place. I've always wanted to learn more about it. This book tells precisely everything that went on very concisely. It also tells what went on in America during that time andyou're able to get the whole picture. I wish that I would have read this along time ago and I now know what other areas to look into for futurereference. My family and I went to view "The Moving Wall"(Vietnam Memorial Duplicate) and I was fortunate and very honored to beable to discuss some situations with Vietnam Vets that were there. It was agreat experience and those that I spoke with were impressed with what Iknew! ... Read more

20. Very Crazy, G.I.!: Strange but True Stories of the Vietnam War
by Kregg P. Jorgenson
Mass Market Paperback: 229 Pages (2001-01-30)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0804115982
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In this compelling, highly unusual collection of amazing but true stories, U.S. soldiers reveal fantastic, almost unbelievable events that occurred in places ranging from the deadly Central Highlands to the Cong-infested Mekong Delta.

"Finders Keepers" became the sacred byword for one exhausted recon team who stumbled upon a fortune worth more than $500,000--and managed, with a little American ingenuity, to relocate the bounty to the States. Jorgenson also chronicles Marine Sergeant James Henderson's incredible journey back from the dead, shares a surreal chopper rescue, and recounts some heart-stopping details of the life--and death--of one of America's greatest unsung heroes, a soldier who won more medals than Audie Murphy and Sergeant York.

Whether occurring in the bloody, fiery chaos of sudden ambushes or during the endless nights of silent, gnawing menace spent behind enemy lines, these stories of war are truly beaucoup dinky dau . . . and ultimately unforgettable.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

2-0 out of 5 stars Anything is Possible, but....
I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but this book was not for me. I'm a fan of the more traditional narratives or first person accounts of soldiers. The author state that he interviewed fellow Vietnam Vets that after a couple of beers, they admitted seeing some crazy, unbelievable things that they never dared tell anyone before. Not the sensationalistic baby killing stuff you might read in liberal press, but tales of ghosts, phantoms, big foot kind of things.

The author and those he interviewed all agree & admit that if you're on guard duty at night, tired and afraid of the VC attacking you (very common things for grunts), you'll think you heard or saw some wild things. I don't doubt that the guys telling the stories were there, it's just a matter of disbelief at what they claim is real.Some will find it funny, for some it will bring back memories.

The book is definitely a different look at Vietnam Veterans experiences in the `Nam. If you want to read about battles, ambushes, historical events, then I would not recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a good book!
This book is made up of many short stories that are non-fiction. Easy to read and very well written. This gives us a glimpse into life in Vietnam.Highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Good Book from Jorgenson
Jorgenson has put out several great pieces of literature about the Vietnam War and this is another one to add to his list. Although not action-packed on every page, it is full of interesting tid-bits about the war that are humerous and comical. A must read for 'Nam Fan's.

3-0 out of 5 stars steve I.
Its Ok, not like I thought .? Seems to have a few short rabbit trails?

3-0 out of 5 stars Very Crazy GI
My husband is enjoying the book so far. Definite recommend for those who were there and for others who want some funny, but cold hard truths about Vietnam. ... Read more

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