The Vietnam War is largely recalled as a mistake, either in the decision to engage there or in the nature of the engagement. Or both. Veterans of the war remain largely anonymous figures, accomplices in the mistake. Critically recounting the steps that led to the war, this book does not excuse the mistakes, but it brings those who served out of the shadows.Read more...
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The Vietnam War is largely recalled as a mistake, either in the decision to engage there or in the nature of the engagement. Or both. Veterans of the war remain largely anonymous figures, accomplices in the mistake. Critically recounting the steps that led to the war, this book does not excuse the mistakes, but it brings those who served out of the shadows.
Enduring Vietnam recounts the experiences of the young Americans who fought in Vietnam and of families who grieved those who did not return. By 1969 nearly half of the junior enlisted men who died in Vietnam were draftees. And their median age was 21 among the non-draftees it was only 20. The book describes the baby boomers growing up in the 1950s, why they went into the military, what they thought of the war, and what it was like to serve in Nam. And to come home. With a rich narrative of the Battle for Hamburger Hill, and through substantial interviews with those who served, the book depicts the cruelty of this war, and its quiet acts of courage.
James Wright's Enduring Vietnam provides an important dimension to the profile of an American generation and a rich account of an American War."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-09
- Reviewer: Staff
In this well-researched and readable work, Wright (Those Who Have Borne the Battle), president emeritus of Dartmouth College, takes a deep look at a particular segment of an American generationmen who took part in ground combat in the Vietnam War. These men, whom he calls the war fighters, were from the Army and Marines and accounted for approximately a fourth of the troops who served in Vietnam during the war. To do so, Wright interviewed 160 veterans and family members of those who died in the war. He utilizes primary and secondary sources to examine the political, diplomatic, and cultural climate of the Vietnam War period. Wright includes an analysis of military strategy, and his descriptions of on-the-ground action concentrate on the decisive year of 1969, including an extended look at the May 1969 Battle of Ap Bia Mountain, commonly known as Hamburger Hill. He also devotes a chapter to Vietnam veterans homecoming. Wrights worthy effort is a tribute to Americans who saw the worst that the Vietnam War offered, combined with a broad look at the domestic and geopolitical factors that led to the U.S. getting involved in the long, controversial conflict. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell. (Apr.)