SOCIAL SCIENCES

In Country

Remembering the Vietnam War
In Country: Remembering the Vietnam War. Ivan R. Dee. Feb. 2012. c.344p. ed. by John Prados. index. ISBN 9781566638685. $27.95. HIST
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Prados (senior fellow, National Security Archives.; Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945–75) has collected gritty, "grunts-eye view" published memories of the Vietnam War, relying heavily on those of American officers and enlisted men, with some offerings by South Vietnamese soldiers and American noncombatants. Each selection is preceded by helpful remarks by Prados, and the book also includes a brief, useful summary of the war. Since this is a military history, the book emphasizes descriptions by participants in major battles from Ia Drang in 1965 to the My Lai massacre and the Cambodian invasion in 1970. The vividly recounted battles reveal stories of bravery, the importance of helicopter support, the devotion of grunts for their fellow unit members, their mistrust of officers, the horrible living conditions, and the acceptance of death as collateral damage.
VERDICT Readers looking for the memories of civilians stationed in Vietnam, nurses, and North Vietnamese soldiers should turn to Christian Appy's Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered for All Sides and Olga Gruhzit-Hoyt's A Time Remembered: American Women in the Vietnam War. Recommended to general readers of military history and Vietnam-era specialists.

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