I have compiled an annotated list of books and other media about Vietnam, the war, and the impacts on soldiers and their lives that I have found interesting and useful over the years.
I hope you will find them helpful as you continue your exploration of our history.
The tunnels of Cu Chi. A Remarkable story of the Vietnam War
Tom Mangold & John Penycate
An interesting study of the underground living and fighting style of the Viet Cong in the 25th Divisions operational area. I served my tour in this area of Vietnam and I was surprised at the extent and age of the tunnel system explained in the book. The 25th Division maintained a school in Cu Chi Base Camp to train tunnel fighters but line outfits never had enough “Tunnel Rats”.
The Dynamics Of Defeat: The Vietnam War In Hau Nghia Province
Eric M. Bergerud
“Dynamics” studies the war in a single province of Vietnam that was part of the 25th’s operational area. Both books are academic type studies of their subjects but not boring to read.
Red Thunder Tropic Lightning: The World of a Combat Division in Vietnam
Eric M. Bergerud
“Red Thunder” is a study of life for a soldier in the 25th Division. This book studies different aspects of being a soldier in the 25th Division. A fine book.
Winners and Losers: Battles, Retreats, Gains, Losses, And Ruins From The Vietnam War
Random House, 1977
Very good! Her attitude is so close to that of many men in our Battery. She IS a Vietnam Veteran in every way. Frustrations of daily life in Vietnam for US soldiers is the theme.
The Blood Road: The Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Vietnam War
John Wiley &Sons, Inc.
The battle over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in South Vietnam. Very good! John Prados is one of the best writers about the history of the Vietnam War. His books are easy to read and well researched.
Vietnam: A history
Viking Adult, 1983
Companion to the PBS series of the same name. A good overview of the American experience in Vietnam.
Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam
Little Brown & Co, 1972
A well done history of Vietnam. It covers the history of the country, Vietnam, and only touches on the American arrival.
The Best and the Brightest
A history of the “American War” as seen by an American reporter. Very good.
Dictionary of the Vietnam War
Pete Bedrick Books, 1987
I use it often.
A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
How JPV tried aligning American policies and “American Cultural Values” and failed. An example of frustration in finding common meaning between US goals and Vietnamese policy.