Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War

Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War

by James Wright


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A history of the American War in Vietnam that provides a rich overview of that war and an evocative reminder of the human faces of the generation who served.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250092489
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 353,291
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

JAMES WRIGHT is President Emeritus and Eleazar Wheelock Professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College and the author or editor of six books. His efforts on behalf of veterans and education have been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, NPR, and more. He serves on the Boards of the Semper Fi Fund, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the Campaign Leadership Committee for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center. He lives in Hanover, NH.

Table of Contents

Maps 10

Preface: Visiting Vietnam 17

Introduction: A Generation Goes to War 27

Chapter 1 Memorial Days 59

Chapter 2 Dong Ap Bia: Becoming Hamburger Hill 97

Chapter 3 Passing the Torch to a New Generation 151

Chapter 4 Receiving the Torch 216

Chapter 5 Not Their Fathers' Way of War 290

Transitions: The Vietnam War in America 370

Chapter 6 The American War in Vietnam 389

Chapter 7 Getting Out of This Place 475

Chapter 8 Duck and Cover 546

Chapter 9 Enduring Vietnam: A Story That Has No End 607

Acknowledgments 677

Notes 695

Selected Bibliography 779

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