In "Vietnam", American author and professor, Christian G. Appy has created a staggering and monumental oral history of the type that is created only once in a generation. The vivid accounts of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975. The testimony in this book, sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, allows us to see and feel what this war meant to people on all sides - Americans and Vietnamese, generals and guerillas, policy makers and protesters, CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people. By turns harrowing, inspiring and revelatory, Vietnam is not a chronicle of facts and figures but a human history of the war. It makes clear what made the Vietnam War one of the most significant conflicts of the twentieth century and why it continues to generate such bitterly divisive moral and political debate. The voices in it show us how hard the war was fought, how much it destroyed, how passionately it was protested, and how far it reached into every crevice of daily life in both countries. Those involved speak eloquently, answering many of the toughest questions about the war that, until now, have too often been met with silence.
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Christian G. Appy holds a Ph.D. in American Civilisation and has taught at both Harvard and MIT, where he was an Associate Professor of History. He is the author of Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam and the editor of the series Culture, Politics, and the Cold War. He currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Review:
Of all the works on the Vietnam War - fiction and nonfiction - this is the big one Studs Terkel No-one has attempted what Christian Appy has achieved in Vietnam. The subtitle is accurate: not both sides, but all sides - South, North, military, civilian, protestor, soldier, commander, observer, journalist, photographer, poet, novelist, exile, refugee, survivor - even the dead, remembered by the living. Brilliant and painful, this is the most vivid account of the Vietnam War I have ever read. If I were to recommend a single book on the war it would be this one Marilyn Young As a Vietnam combat veteran who participated in most of the major historical battles of 1968, I'm understandably ambivalent about reading Vietnam books. Vietnam is different. It is an even-handed approach to a still controversial and divisive subject. The overall effect of listening to different voices on the same sore subject is eye-opening and revealing. At the end, I for one felt more than satisfied because I had reached a greater understanding of the event that changed my life and the life of a nation Nelson De Mille A fascinating insight...this is a masterfuly constructed, must-read book Metro The most rounded account of the Vietnam War we have seen yet London Lite
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