Books Reviews

Vietnam at War Book Review

By Angela Youngman Dec 3, 2012, 20:28 GMT

Vietnam at War  Book Review

For many Westerners, the Vietnam War summons images of American soldiers patrolling rice paddies, battling an elusive enemy as helicopters circle overhead. But there were, in fact, many Vietnam wars--an anti-colonial war with France, a cold war turned hot with the United States, a civil war between North and South Vietnam and among southern Vietnamese, a revolutionary war of ideas over the vision that should guide Vietnamese society into the ...more

For most countries outside the US, the Vietnam War was little known beyond what was seen on TV.  It was not a well-known war.  For the people of Vietnam it was disastrous, creating a hell on earth for many years. 

This is the first concise history which actually links what happened in America with what happens in Vietnam. It outlines the scale of the tragedy for both sides. 

Throughout the 1940's and 1950's Vietnam was seeking independence, a process made harder by differing political philosophies.  This book looks at the story behind the war and how the Americans came to be involved.  There is less attention paid to actual battles and methods of fighting as compared to trying to make sense of the whole event. 

It is a very well written, and well researched book.  It helps put the conflict into perspective and highlights the deeper issues involved.  Interestingly, Bradley also looks at the situation since the war and the effect it has had on developing the Vietnamese society we see today. 

A readable account, which does not leave anyone unfamiliar with the topic confused by names and organizations involved.  It acts well as a basic introduction, or as an overview of the whole traumatic period.

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