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Books on the Vietnam War

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Acceptable Loss
by Kregg, P.J. Jorgenson
The true-to-life story of a Ranger who volunteered to serve on a Blue Team in the Air Cavalry, racing to the aid of soldiers facing the same dangers he himself had barely survived in the jungles of Vietnam. Highly recommended

Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character
Jonathan Shay 
Shay works from an intriguing premise: that the study of the great Homeric epic of war, The Iliad, can illuminate our understanding of Vietnam, and vice versa. Along the way, he compares the battlefield experiences of men like Agamemnon and Patroclus with those of frontline grunts, analyzes the berserker rage that overcame Achilles and so many American soldiers alike, and considers the ways in which societies ancient and modern have accounted for and dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder---a malady only recently recognized in the medical literature, but well attested in Homer's pages. The novelist Tim O'Brien, who has written so affectingly about his experiences in combat, calls Shay's book "one of the most original and most important scholarly works to have emerged from the Vietnam war." He's right.
Highly recommended
Touchstone Books; ISBN: 0684813211
An American Requiem : God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us
by James Carroll
Houghton Mifflin Co
Paperback - 279 pages Reprint edition (April 1, )

After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam
Ronald H. Spector

After the Storm : A Vietnam Veteran's Reflections (Hellgate Memories Series)
by Paul Drew 

Absolution: Charlie Company 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry
by Charles J. Boyle, Charles T. Boyle, Pia S. Seagrave (Editor)
Hardcover - 378 pages 1st edition (October 1, )
Sergeant Kirkland's Press; ISBN: 1887901302
Out of Print - Try Used Books

Allies & Mates: An American Soldier With the Australians and New Zealanders in Vietnam 1966-67
Gordon L. Steinbrook
Listed under Australia at War

America in Vietnam: A Documentary History
William Appleman Williams, et al
Paperback Rei edition (June 1989)
W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 0393305554

America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975
George Herring
Widely recognized as a major contribution to the study of American involvement in Vietnam, this comprehensive and balanced account analyzes the ultimate failure of the war, and the impact of the war on US foreign policy. The book seeks to place American involvement in Vietnam in historical perspective and to offer answers to vital questions.
Paperback 3rd edition
McGraw Hill Text; ISBN: 0070283931
America's War in Vietnam : A Short Narrative History
by Larry H. Addington
Paperback - 224 pages (April )
Indiana Univ Pr; ISBN: 0253213606

Anatomy of a War : Vietnam, the United States, and the Modern Historical Experience
Gabriel Kolko
Paperback Reprint edition
New Press; ISBN: 1565842189

Angels In Red Hats: Paratroopers of the Second Indochina War
by William Strode (Editor), et al
Vietnamese Paratrooper and U.S. Airborne Advisors

Assault on Dak Pek : A Special Forces A-Team in Combat, 1970
by Leigh Wade
Paperback - 273 pages 1 Ed edition
Ivy Books; ISBN: 0804118361

Bac Si: A Doctor Remembers Vietnam
Peter Caldwell
Paperback / Published 1991
A vivid human portrait of Vietnam from the special perspective of a Navy doctor serving with the Marines.

The Battle for Hue: Tet 1968
Keith William Nolan

The Best and the Brightest
by David Halberstam
This was a NYT #1 bestseller.
Paperback 20th Anv edition (November 1993)
Fawcett Books; ISBN: 0449908704
A Better War : The Unexamined Victories and the Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam
by Lewis Sorley
Hardcover - 528 pages
Harcourt Brace; ISBN: 0151002665

by James C. Donahue
An elite unit armed to the teeth, the Mobile Guerrilla Force was America's only real guerrilla force in Vietnam. These men operated for weeks at a time--springing ambushes, destroying base camps, and gathering vital intelligence--in steamy, triple-canopied jungles ruled by  the VC and NVA.
Paperback (April 4, )
Ballantine Books; ISBN: 0804117659

Blood on the Risers - An Airborne Soldier's Thirty-Five Months in Vietnam
John Leppleman
From Dak To to the Tet Offensive, John Leppelman saw it all. In three tours of duty, he made combat jumps, spent months of fruitless effort looking for the enemy, watched as his buddies died because of lousy leadership and lousy weapons. He saw the war as few others did, and lives to tell about the valor and sacrifice that outlived the dead.
Paperback / Published 1991

The Blood Road : The Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Vietnam War
by John Prados
Hardcover - 448 pages
John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471254657

Bonnie-Sue : A Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron in Vietnam
by Marion F. Sturkey 
Listed under Air War Vietnam

Born on the Fourth of July
Ron Kovic
Exceedingly honest, personal account of one young man's experience fighting in the Vietnam War. Ingram.

The Bridge at Dong Ha
by John Grider Miller, James B. Stockdale
Marine Captain John Ripley's destruction of a bridge during the North Vietnamese "Easter Offensive" of 1972.
Paperback Reprint edition
United States Naval Inst.; ISBN: 155750587X

A Bright Shining Lie : John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
by Neil Sheehan
This passionate, epic account of the Vietnam War centers on Lt. Col. John Paul Vann, whose story illuminates America's failures and disillusionment in Southeast Asia. Vann was a field adviser to the army when American involvement was just beginning. He quickly became appalled at the corruption of the South Vietnamese regime, their incompetence in fighting the Communists, and their brutal alienation of their own people. Finding his superiors too blinded by political lies to understand that the war was being thrown away, he secretly briefed reporters on what was really happening. One of those reporters was Neil Sheehan. This definitive expose on why America lost the war won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1989.
Paperback - 861 pages (September 1989)
Vintage Books; ISBN: 0679724141

Busted: A Vietnam Veteran in Nixon's America
W. D. Ehrhart, H. Bruce Franklin
Hardcover / Published 1995

Cap Mot: Marine Special Forces Unit in Vietnam, 1968-1969
Barry L. Goodson

Captain Hook: A Pilot's Tragedy and Triumph in the Vietnam War
Wynn F. Foster, James B. Stockdale
Listed under Air War Vietnam

Charlie Rangers
by Don Ericson (Contributor), John L. Rotundo
For eighteen months, John L. Rotundo and Don Ericson braved the test of war at its most bloody and most raw, specializing in ambushing the enemy and fighting jungle guerillas using their own tactics. From the undiluted high of a "contact" with the enemy to the anguished mourning of a fallen comrade, they experienced nearly every emotion known to man--most of all, the power and the pride of being the finest on America's front lines. The Publisher
Paperback Reissue edition (March )
Ivy Books; ISBN: 0804102880
by Robert C. Mason
Listed under Air War Vietnam

Clashes: Air Combat over North Vietnam 1965-1972
Marshall L. III Michel
Listed under Air War Vietnam

Cleared Hot! : A Marine Combat Pilot's Vietnam Diary
by Bob Stoffey
Listed under Air War Vietnam

The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975
Alex Larzelere, Brent Scowcroft

Codename Mule : Fighting the Secret War in Laos for the CIA
(Naval Institute Special Warfare Series)
James E., Jr. Parker
Hardcover / Published 1995

Company Commander: Vietnam
James L. Estep

Dear Mom: A Sniper's Vietnam
Joseph T. Ward
Paperback / Published 1991

Death in the a Shau Valley : L Company LRRPs in Vietnam, 1969-70
by Larry Chambers
"The enemy had a single purpose: kill me and my teammates." Larry Chambers was still new to Vietnam in early 1969 when the LRRPs of the 101st Airborne Division became L Company, 75th (Rangers). But his unit's mission stayed the same: act as the eyes and ears of the 101st deep in the dreaded A Shau Valley--where the NVA ruled. Relentless thick fog frequently made fighter bombers useless in the A Shau, and the enemy had furnished the nearby mountaintops with antiaircraft machine guns to protect the massive trail network that snaked through it. So, outgunned, outmanned, and unsupported, the teams of L Company executed hundreds of courageous missions. Now, in this powerful personal record, Larry Chambers recaptures the experience of the war's most brutal on-the-job training, where the slightest noise or smallest error could bring sudden--and certain--death. . . .
Paperback 1 Ed edition (November )
Ivy Books; ISBN: 0804115753
Death in the Delta: Diary of a Navy Seal
Gary R. Smith, Alan Maki
Listed under Navy Seals

Dien Bien Phu: The Epic Battle America Forgot
Howard R. Simpson, Stanley Karnow 

Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War
by James F. Dunnigan, Albert A. Nofi
Listed under Espionage

by Michael Herr
Vintage Books
Paperback - 260 pages Reprint edition (August 1991)

The Easter Offensive: Vietnam, 1972
G. H. Turley, James Webb
Paperback / Published 1995

The Element of Surprise: Navy Seals in Vietnam
Darryl Young
Listed under Navy Seals

Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War
Stanley I. Kutler (Editor)
The Vietnam War was America's longest conflict, outlasting U.S. participation in the two world wars and the Korean War combined. This authoritative book separates the facts of the war from the polemics that engulfed them, and takes a fascinating look at the people, places, events, and ideas--both on the battlefield and the home front--of this confusing and contentious period. 564 articles. 13 maps. 210 illustrations.
Hardcover - 711 pages (Dec )
Charles Scribners Sons/Reference; ISBN: 0132769328
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War : A Political, Social, and Military History, 3 Vol. Set
by Spencer C. Tucker (Editor)
Hardcover - 1196 pages
Abc-Clio; ISBN: 0874369835

Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by American Soldiers Who Fought It
Albert Santoli
Paperback / Published 1988
  Fields of Fire (Bluejacket Books)
by James H. Webb
Paperback: 360 pages
Naval Institute Press; ISBN: 1557509638; (May 22, )

Chuck Carlock
Listed under Air War Vietnam

Father, Soldier, Son: Memoir of a Platoon Leader in Vietnam
Nathaniel Tripp
Listed Here

15 Months With SOG : A Warrior's Tour
by Thom Nicholson
Paperback 1 Ed edition
Ivy Books; ISBN: 0804118728

First Recon-Second to None : A Marine Reconnaissance Battalion 1967-1968
Paul Young
Paperback / Published 1992

Five Years to Freedom
James N. Rowe
Listed under Vietnam POWs

Fortunate Son : The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller, Jr
Lewis B. Jr Puller
Son of the famous World War II Marine commander "Chesty" Puller, Lewis Puller proudly followed in his father's footsteps. It was his misfortune, though, to serve in Vietnam in a war that brought not honor but contempt, and exacted a brutal personal price: Puller lost both legs, one hand, and most of his buttocks and stomach. Years later he was functional enough to run for Congress, bitterly denouncing the war. He lost, became an alcoholic, and almost died again. Then he climbed out of that circle of Hell to write this searingly graphic autobiography, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. One last poignant postscript: three years after the enormous success of this book, the author killed himself.
Paperback Reissue edition
Bantam Books; ISBN: 055356076X

Force Recon Command: 3d Force Recon Company in Vietnam, 1969-70
Alex Lee

Force Recon Diary, 1969
B. H. Norton
Paperback / Published 1991

Force Recon Diary, 1970
Bruce H. Norton
Paperback / Published 1992

Four Hours in My Lai
Michael Bilton, Kevin Sim
On March 16, 1968, a battle-scarred U.S. fighting unit entered the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai.There, a group of soldiers murdered 500 unarmed women, children and old men. Simply and courageously, Four Hours in My Lai tells the truth about what happened--a story that should never be forgotten. Companion to the Emmy Award-winning documentary Four Hours to My Lai. The Publisher
Paperback / Published 1993

The Forgotten Hero of My Lai : The Hugh Thompson Story
by Trent Angers
... Seeing Charlie Company driving children to the killing ditch, Thompson landed in front of troops, trained his machine guns on them, and rescued the children. In a supreme irony, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross: his sound judgment "had greatly enhanced Vietnamese-American relations in the operational area." Thompson threw the decoration away. Kirkus Reviews
Hardcover - 248 pages 1999 edition
Acadian House Pub; ISBN: 0925417335

General Issue Blues, Viet Nam to Here: A Warrior's Tour
by Sonny Gratzer

The Ghosts of the Highlands : 1st Cav LRRPs in Vietnam, 1966-67
by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson
Paperback 1 Ed edition
Ivy Books; ISBN: 0804115974

Glory Denied: The Saga of Jim Thompson, America's Longest-Held Prisoner of War
by Tom Philpott, John McCain (Foreword)
W.W. Norton & Company
Hardcover - 480 pages

Good Morning Vietnam
Robin Williams / VHS Tape
Listed under Vietnam War Movies

Good to Go - The Life and Times of a Decorated Member of Seal Team Two
Harry Constance, Randall Fuerst
Listed under Navy Seals

Hamburger Hill
by Samuel Zaffiri
Paperback - 328 pages (January 15, )
Presidio Pr; ISBN: 0891417060

The Hidden History of the Vietnam War
John Prados
Hardcover: 329 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.20 x 9.48 x 6.31 
Publisher: Ivan R Dee, Inc.; (January 1, 1990)
ISBN: 1566630797
Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War
Harry G. Summers, Stanley Karnov
Book Description: With more than one hundred four-color maps supplemented by photographs and reconstructions, the Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War provides the first major visualization of that war as well as a penetrating and comprehensive analysis of the conflict based on both U.S. and Vietnamese postwar accounts.
Home Before Morning : The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam
by Lynda Van Devanter
Listed under Women at War

Honor and Sacrifice : The Montagnards of Ba Cat Vietnam (Hellgate Memories Series.)
by Anthony J. Blondell
Hardcover - 225 pages 1 Ed edition (December 1, )
Hellgate Pr; ISBN: 1555715338

If I Die in a Combat Zone : Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
by Tim O'Brien
Over time, Tim O'Brien has used both art and artifice to shape his fictional accounts of Vietnam. Award-winning novels such as Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried offer up a surreal view of the war: a soldier who decides to walk to Paris, leaving only a trail of M&M's in his wake; a young man who imports his high-school girlfriend to his base camp high in the jungled mountains, only to lose her to a shadowy squad of Special Forces Green Berets and to "that mix of unnamed terror and unnamed pleasure" that was Vietnam. O'Brien's first account of the war, however, was written in the raw, unfiltered months following his return from Southeast Asia in 1969. If I Die in a Combat Zone has all of the eloquence and attention to language and detail that are a mark of the author's work; what is different about it is its straightforward, unembellished depiction of his personal experience of hell. 

"When you are ordered to march through areas such as Pinkville--GI slang for Song My, parent village of My Lai ... you do some thinking. You hallucinate. You look ahead a few paces and wonder what your legs will resemble if there is more to the earth in that spot than silicates and nitrogen. Will the pain be unbearable? Will you scream or fall silent? Will you be afraid to look at your own body, afraid of the sight of your own red flesh and white bone? You wonder if the medic remembered his morphine." 

O'Brien paints an unvarnished portrait of the infantry soldier's life that is at once mundane and terrifying--the endless days of patrolling punctuated by firefights that end as suddenly and inconclusively as they begin; the mind-numbing brutality of burned villages and trampled rice paddies; the terror of tunnels, minefields, and the ever-present threat of death. Powerful as these scenes are, perhaps the most memorable chapter in the book concerns his decision to desert just a few weeks before he was sent to Vietnam. "The AWOL bag was ready to go, but I wasn't.... I burned the letters to my family. I read the others and burned them, too. It was over. I simply couldn't bring myself to flee. Family, the home town, friends, history, tradition, fear, confusion, exile: I could not run." Tim O'Brien went into the war opposing it and came out knowing exactly why. If I Die in a Combat Zone is more than just a memoir of a disastrous war; it is also a meditation on heroism and cowardice, on the mutability of truth and morality in a war zone and, most of all, on the simple, human capacity to endure the unendurable. --Alix Wilber -
Paperback: 208 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.64 x 7.99 x 5.25 
Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (August 31, )
ISBN: 0767904435 

Immigrant Soldier : From the Baltics to Vietnam (Hellgate Memories : Vietnam)
by Vick Pakis

A Hundred Miles of Bad Road - An Armored Cavalryman in Vietnam, 1967-68
Dwight W. Birdwell, Keith William Nolan

Hunters & Shooters - An Oral History of the US Navy Seals in Vietnam
Bill Fawcett (Editor)
Listed under Navy Seals

Inside the LRRPs : Rangers in Vietnam
Michael Lee Lanning
Paperback / Published 1988

Inside the VC and the NVA : The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Force
by Michael Lee Lanning, Dan Cragg

Paperback Reprint edition
Ivy Books; ISBN: 0804105006

In Retrospect : The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam
Robert S. McNamara, et al
The #1 national bestseller--an indispensable document for anyone interested in the Vietnam War. McNamara's controversial book tells the inside and personal story of America's descent into Vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written. This new edition features a new Foreword by McNamara.

Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam
Michael Lee Lanning, Ray William Stubbe
Paperback / Published 1989

Khe Sanh : Siege in the Clouds : An Oral History
by Eric M. Hammel

Hardcover - 514 pages (March )
Pacifica Pr; ISBN: 0935553304

The Killing Zone : My Life in the Vietnam War
Frederick Downs
Paperback / Published 1993

Dien Bien Phu

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