Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Baker's Dozen: Best Books on Vietnam

Here are 13 books that are must reads for any serious student of the Vietnam War.

They range from a Bernard Fall classic published on the eve of the American build-up to the definitive Pentagon history of the war to a book on the secret bombing campaign in Cambodia to three fictional accounts of combat.

The latter three are included because they are great books and capture a common experience of the men and women who served in Vietnam -- that it was an often indescribable blend of fact and fantasy.

All are still in print and are likely to remain so for many years to come. My personal favorite of the batch is Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato, which won the 1978 National Book Award.


NON-FICTION

About Face by David Hackworth & Julie Sherman (1989)

Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic (1976)

Dispatches by Michael Herr (1977)

Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam
by Frances FitzGerald (1972)

The Pentagon Papers: The Defense Department History
of
United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam (1971)

Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia
by William Shawcross (1979)

A Soldier Reports by General William Westmoreland (1976)

Street Without Joy by Bernard Fall (1964)

Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow (1983)

FICTION

Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien (1978)

The Quiet American by Graham Greene (1955)

A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo (1977)

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (1990)

4 comments:

John said...

Have you read A Bright and Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan?

Shaun Mullen said...

Yes, a great book. Perhaps I should have made the list a baker's dozen plus 1.

Viagra Online said...

Going After Cacciato is a really cool book which teach us how Vietnam war really is and what people involved lived day by day.

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