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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as a "pithy and compelling account of an intensely relevant topic" (Kirkus Reviews), this wide-ranging volume offers a superb account of a key moment in modern U.S. and world history. Drawing upon the latest research in archives in China, Russia, and Vietnam, Mark Lawrence creates an extraordinary, panoramic view of all sides of the war. His narrative begins well before American forces set foot in Vietnam, delving into French colonialism's contribution to the 1945 Vietnamese revolution, and revealing how the Cold War concerns of the 1950s led the United States to back the French.
The heart of the book covers the "American war", ranging from the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem and the impact of the Tet Offensive to Nixon's expansion of the war into Cambodia and Laos, and the final peace agreement of 1973. Finally, Lawrence examines the aftermath of the war, from the momentous liberalization - "Doi Moi" - in Vietnam to the enduring legacy of this infamous war in American books, films, and political debate.
©2010 Mark Atwood Lawrence (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Crisply concise.... Delves into the 'whys' of the war: why the Vietnamese fought against the United States, why the great powers were involved, why the war turned out as it did and why legacies of the war linger." (Dallas Morning News)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Nancy on 06-05-11

Highly recommended

In spite of living during the Vietnam era, I never could put all the pieces into a coherent whole. This book really helps listeners to understand just how the war developed. Narrator is very good and makes it easy to listen.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jonathan Hoyle on 04-11-14

Politically Slanting But Enjoyable Narrative

What did you like best about The Vietnam War? What did you like least?

For an otherwise brief overview, it was detailed enough to really make the narrative flow. Sadly though, the author clearly has a political axe to grind, and Nixon remains his villain, just as Kennedy his hero. His heroes do bad things reluctantly, whereas his villains do it malevolently. The same is true in reverse for good things. I still have yet to hear one in which this war can be discussed objectively. Sigh. Perhaps we are still too early write anything objective about this war? In any case, if you can get past his personal political commentary (or if your political orientation aligns with his), you will find this a very informative and fascinating story. One of the more enjoyable reads of the Vietnam War. Peter Berkot also gets high marks for his performance in reading the material.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs. T. L. Brown on 10-01-14

A good intro to the Vietnam war

If you could sum up The Vietnam War in three words, what would they be?

Are they mad

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Vietnam War?

The last French garrison falling.

Which character – as performed by Peter Berkrot – was your favourite?

Ho Chi Minh

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The suffering of people.

Any additional comments?

This is a good introduction to the Vietnam war, I only knew the U.S. part of it and this covers all the history of the wars there both foreign and domestic.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Emmi on 03-27-17

Multiple perspectives into the Vietnam War

Provides a wide spanning history to the Vietnam War and how it impacts the countries involved. Highly recommend for anyone looking for an introduction to the topic.

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