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Vietnam War Stories
by Tobey C. Herzog

The Gulf War and its aftermath have testified once again to the significance placed on the meanings and images of Vietnam by US media and culture. Almost two decades after the end of hostilities, the Vietnam War remains a dominant moral, political and military touchstone in American cultural consciousness.
Vietnam War Stories provides a comprehensive critical framework for understanding the Vietnam experience, Vietnam narratives and modern war literature. The narratives examined – personal accounts as well as novels – portray a soldier’s and a country’s journey from pre-war innocence, through battlefield experience and consideration, to a difficult post-war adjustment. Tobey Herzog places these narratives within the context of important cultural and literary themes, including inherent ironies of war, the “John Wayne syndrome” of pre-war innocence, and the “heavy Heart-of-Darkness trip” of the conflict itself.

Vietnam at War
by Mark Philip Bradley

The Vietnam War tends to conjure up images of American soldiers battling an elusive enemy in thick jungle, the thudding of helicopters overhead. But there were in fact several Vietnam wars – an anticolonial war with France, a cold war turned hot with the United States, a civil war between North and South Vietnam and among the southern Vietnamese, a revolutionary war of ideas over what should guide Vietnamese society into its postcolonial future, and finally a war of memories after the official end of hostilities with the fall of Saigon in 1975. This book looks at how the Vietnamese themselves experienced all of these conflicts, showing how the wars for Vietnam were rooted in fundamentally conflicting visions of what an independent Vietnam should mean that in many ways remain unresolved to this day. Drawing upon twenty years of research, Mark Philip Bradley examines the thinking and the behaviour of the key wartime decision-makers in Hanoi and Saigon, while at the same time exploring how ordinary Vietnamese, northerners and southerners, men and women, soldiers and civilians, urban elites and rural peasants, radicals and conservatives, came to understand the thirty years of bloody warfare that unfolded around them – and how they made sense of its aftermath.

The Columbia History of the Vietnam War
by David L. Anderson

Rooted in recent scholarship, The Columbia History of the Vietnam War offers profound new perspectives on the political, historical, military, and social issues that defined the war and its effect on the United States and Vietnam. Laying the chronological and critical foundations for the volume, David L. Anderson opens with an essay on the Vietnam War’s major moments and enduring relevance. Mark Philip Bradley follows with a reexamination of Vietnamese revolutionary nationalism and the Vietminh-led war against French colonialism. Richard H. Immerman revisits Eisenhower’s and Kennedy’s efforts at nation building in South Vietnam, and Gary R. Hess reviews America’s military commitment under Kennedy and Johnson. Lloyd C. Gardner investigates the motivations behind Johnson’s escalation of force, and Robert J. McMahon focuses on the pivotal period before and after the Tet Offensive. Jeffrey P. Kimball then makes sense of Nixon’s paradoxical decision to end U.S. intervention while pursuing a destructive air war.

John Prados and Eric Bergerud devote essays to America’s military strategy, while Helen E. Anderson and Robert K. Brigham explore the war’s impact on Vietnamese women and urban culture. Melvin Small recounts the domestic tensions created by America’s involvement in Vietnam, and Kenton Clymer traces the spread of the war to Laos and Cambodia. Concluding essays by Robert D. Schulzinger and George C. Herring account for the legacy of the war within Vietnamese and American contexts and diagnose the symptoms of the “Vietnam syndrome” evident in later debates about U.S. foreign policy. America’s experience in Vietnam continues to figure prominently in discussions about strategy and defense, not to mention within discourse on the identity of the United States as a nation. Anderson’s expert collection is therefore essential to understanding America’s entanglement in the Vietnam War and the conflict’s influence on the nation’s future interests abroad.


10,000 Days of Thunder
by Philip Caputo

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.

Small Arms of the Vietnam War
by Dale A. Dye, Tom Laemlein

With modern military emphasis on whiz-bang weapons technology and the constant quest for things that make a bigger bang on the battlefield, it’s easy to forget that at the dark heart of war stands an infantryman and his individual weapons. Those who understand warfare from research or from personal experience generally realize this about the conflicts that have plagued mankind since the dawn of time.
 
Infantry weapons—often referred to as small arms—have fascinated soldiers and scholars for decades as they are the most personal aspects of combat. Small arms come into play when contact is close and potentially lethal. This was particularly true during the long, frustrating war in Vietnam, but much of the focus in studying that conflict has been either on aerial weapons—strike aircraft or armed helicopters—or on the originally much-maligned M16 rifle. There were huge numbers of other weapons used by both sides, but they are often ignored and rarely seen being used in combat action.
 
This book solves that problem. Divided into easily digestible sections and preceded by cogent discussions of each weapon type, the authors have presented an intriguing collection of photographs that depict the primary small (and not so small) infantry arms most common on Vietnam battlefields. There are rare and stirring images here that depict what it was like to fight in the jungle-covered mountains and in the rice paddies. Viewing these images is like studying a primer about one of America’s longest and deadliest wars.


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