Hue 1968

  • by Mark Bowden
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • 18 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Not since his New York Times best seller Black Hawk Down has Mark Bowden written a book about a battle. His most ambitious work yet, Huế 1968, is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam.
By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops, the fighting in Vietnam seemed to be at a stalemate. Yet General William Westmoreland, commander of American forces, announced a new phase of the war in which "the end begins to come into view". The North Vietnamese had different ideas. In mid-1967, the leadership in Hanoi had started planning an offensive intended to win the war in a single stroke. Part military action and part popular uprising, the Tet Offensive included attacks across South Vietnam, but the most dramatic and successful would be the capture of Huế, the country's cultural capital. At 2:30 a.m. on January 31, 10,000 National Liberation Front troops descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. By morning, all of Huế was in Front hands save for two small military outposts.
The commanders in country and politicians in Washington refused to believe the size and scope of the Front's presence. Captain Chuck Meadows was ordered to lead his 160-marine Golf Company against thousands of enemy troops in the first attempt to reenter Huế later that day. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.
With unprecedented access to war archives in the US and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple points of view. Played out over 24 days of terrible fighting and ultimately costing 10,000 combatant and civilian lives, the Battle of Huế was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. In Huế 1968, Bowden masterfully reconstructs this pivotal moment in the American War in Vietnam.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mark Bowden Never Disappoints

Only 20 minutes into this and you realize you're in the hands of a master storyteller. Bowden opens this monumental narrative in the autumn of 1967 with the story of a young Vietnamese woman living a double life: By day, she's a pretty farmer's daughter in wearing ao dai and selling snail hats from her bicycle. By night, she's a soldier in an elite NLF unit, doing reconnaissance on the American and South Vietnamese enemies, and getting ready for an epic battle looming on the horizon: The Tet Offensive.

I haven't yet finished the book but after careening through the first hour, totally engrossed, I just knew that Bowden had hit it out of the park once again. If you like his other books, such as Black Hawk Down or Killing Pablo, you will not be disappointed. I am glad he decided to take on the subject of the Vietnam War; there are few contemporary nonfiction writers out there capable of doing it justice. Bowden is one of them; in fact, he could be considered one of the greatest living writers of nonfiction today. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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- CRG2

Excellent history

A compelling, thoroughly researched account of the bitterness battle of the Vietnam war told from the viewpoint of those who fought on both sides.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-11-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios