Vietnam: A History of the War

Vietnam A History of the War Was the Vietnam War a tragic mistake Or was it as President Ronald Reagan would claim a noble cause In an enthralling book Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman provides a succinct account of perhaps t

  • Title: Vietnam: A History of the War
  • Author: Russell Freedman
  • ISBN: 9780823436583
  • Page: 178
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Was the Vietnam War a tragic mistake Or was it, as President Ronald Reagan would claim, a noble cause In an enthralling book, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman provides a succinct account of perhaps the most puzzling and contentious of America s wars Describing how a superpower caught up in Cold War politics became increasingly enmeshed in a conflict over 8,000 miles aWas the Vietnam War a tragic mistake Or was it, as President Ronald Reagan would claim, a noble cause In an enthralling book, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman provides a succinct account of perhaps the most puzzling and contentious of America s wars Describing how a superpower caught up in Cold War politics became increasingly enmeshed in a conflict over 8,000 miles away, he then explainswhy twenty years later an exit was so difficult In words and photographs he chronicles the unfolding events in Vietnam and at home as increasing numbers of young men were sent into the jungles to fight.After assessing the catastrophic damage, Freedman concludes the book with a hopeful epilogue on Vietnam today.A glossary, source notes, bibliography and index are included.

    One thought on “Vietnam: A History of the War”

    1. Read it. Makes our involvement seem all more idiotic. We should have done our research before even thinking about getting involved. And we shouldn't have worried so much about saving face, about not appearing weak.

    2. I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction, but since the Vietnam War is a subject I know little about, I did find myself engaged several times while discovering facts I'd not read before. Quotes from politicians and soldiers after the fact were particularly powerful, and support the general opinion that the war was a huge mistake that the US couldn't win but couldn't figure out a way to get out of.

    3. Lacks depthThis is a quick and easy read. However, it lacks the depth I would have preferred. It also seemed to race through the events after the Tet offensive.

    4. Very well written - Freedman takes the confusing events surrounding Vietnam and retells them in a way that teen readers and adults alike can understand. This book illuminated the mistakes and horrors committed by both the US and Vietnam, but also showed why each side stood their ground. Some things really broke my heart (like the fact that more Vietnamese civilians died than soldiers, or that forty US soldiers died after the peace treaty had been signed). Freedman doesn't shy away from pointing [...]

    5. Vietnam was a painful point on American history that still hurts. However, a true understanding of the war can only be gained through a greater appreciation of its background. Russell Freedman, in his usual excellent fashion, clearly walks readers through 2,000 years of the region's history to set the stage for the conflict. Ancient history is quickly spelled out, then readers learn how WWII, French colonialism, a fear of communism, and poor leadership on all sides led to a tragic outcome. This [...]

    6. When I came upon this book at my local library, and as I plan for a trip to Vietnam in 2 months, I hoped it would provide me with some additional local knowledge for my upcoming visit to this beautiful country.Russell Freedman you are my hero, you made this history lesson easy. To take a historical event so complex that it lasted through 5 American Presidents and put it into unbiased layman terms and do it so well, is no small feat. A compelling book told in chronological order that should be a [...]

    7. I was long overdue in reading about the Vietnam War since I didn't learn much about it in school. The strength of Freedman's book is that he tells the story in such a way that the reader can make their own assessment of the U.S.'s role. Freedman begins with the long history of foreign countries occupying Vietnam, an important explanation for why U.S. involvement was such a disaster. If there's a weakness to this telling, it's that Freedman doesn't write much about refugees who left Vietnam after [...]

    8. Russell Freedman is in consistently fine form here as he weaves a comprehensible portrait of a complicated war. This at first appears similar in scope to last year's Most Dangerous, but each book focuses on different aspects of the war. While Sheinkin really dives into the Pentagon Papers and each U.S. President's response to the war, they are included only briefly in Vietnam. What really shines here is the perspective that focuses largely on the Vietnamese and the history that led them to war. [...]

    9. I hate typos! One of my biggest pet peeves is when I purchase a book and there are very noticeable typos in the text! I found one in this book. On page 67, the sentence reads “The war Johnson really wanted to fight was the war against poverty and inequality in the United Stares.” If I’m not mistaken, it should have been United States. That is something a proof reader shouldn’t have missed. I know that it is only one sentence in an entire book, but it is something that I couldn’t get pa [...]

    10. I had to read this book just a couple of chapters at a time because remembering the cruelty and frustration of that war was so painful. How could we have become entrenched in defending corrupt regimes? How could we have looked like the imperialists? How could we have bombed so many civiliams? I am ashamed all over again. Thank God for Jerry Ford who ended it even if LBJ and Nixon in their pride could not do it. I am so distraught about the present administration in our country. This book reminds [...]

    11. The Vietnam War is a confusing period in American history. The reasons why we fought there and why we were there for so long are not clear. Russell Freedman does an excellent job of clarifying this conflict. It goes back much further than thought and the reasons for being there are not as clear cut. Reading it made me see some parallels between Vietnam and the Mideast conflicts. Not exact parallels, but the comparisons can be made. Freedman is an expert at making history come alive for young rea [...]

    12. In words and photographs (ones etched in our minds forever; burning monks, children running naked covered in napalm etc.) this book chronicles a war that many do not understand to this day. With a great time-line this is a great history book for all ages. Being an age that I saw this war played out on TV but still too young to really understand what was going on. I really enjoyed how this book covered the history from French colonization to the modern day Vietnam.

    13. As someone whose history classes never quite made it to this point in time, I was grateful to read this clear, well-rounded look at the Vietnam War. Freedman includes a lot of history of conflicts in Vietnam to help set the stage. For this generation of young readers, he also manages to set the stage with John Kerry, the young veteran, and come full circle to John Kerry, secretary of state in the end.

    14. Vietnam - how did the U.S. get involved? The reader is taken on an epic journey beginning 2000 years ago with the Vietnamese people's desire to be free of foreign domination. The Vietnam Conflict is told in terms of political rivalries, human loss and devastation. Archival photos and a timeline of important events aid the story; ending in America's withdrawal and the reunification of North and South Vietnam. Reviewer #19

    15. Although this was interesting to me, having lived through it, I'm not sure how many kids will do more than scan through the pictures and read a few chapters. I did like how that will make it a good resource for text books that, perhaps, cover the same history. I love Russell Freedman's history books, and do think this will appeal to middle schoolers.

    16. Although the writing is utilitarian, it's concise. In under 130 pages, Russell Freedman tells the story of Vietnam, from first century B.C. to present day. The scope is necessary to understand the Vietnam war, and it's what makes the book stand out. I'm surprised it's not on the shortlist for the YALSA nonfic award, but I hope to see it on the longlist when the committee releases it next month.

    17. Freedman always does good nonfiction. I still don't understand what happened-- what a mess of a situation. I probably should buy this, but it's more suited to research than casual reading. Well done, just hard to understand because of the subject matter. What I'd like to see is a book on Vietnam that is arranged more like Steele's Holocaust book.

    18. This was a pretty solid history of the events leading up to the Vietnam War, the war itself, and the aftermath, but I think I wanted more from this book. It felt impersonal, focusing more on events than people. I would recommend this to a student writing a report on the Vietnam War, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a compelling piece of nonfiction to get immersed in.

    19. This book was alright. There was good wording and helped me understand. But there weren't good stories and about people's experience. All the facts were interesting.

    20. Freedman continues his string of outstanding narrative non-fiction titlesHaving recently viewed the new Vietnam War series by filmmaker Ken Burns, I really appreciate Freedman's overview of the Vietnam Conflict. Many of the passages read in my mind as what I had heard on the film series. Obviously the researchers for the film and Freedman consulted many of the same materials on the topic. Forty years later, we have gained perspective on military actions in this region are now writing down the le [...]

    21. Vietnam is not an easy war to understand, and Freedman does an outstanding job providing historical context and describing how the United States got increasingly pulled in and trapped in this no-win war. In some ways, this seems like the Executive Summary of Ken Burns' excellent PBS documentary on the war. In just 150 pages of text and well-chosen photographs, Freedman provides a balanced overview of the role of France, the complications of the Cold War, and the difficulties facing the Johnson a [...]

    22. Russell Freedman, a master of non-fiction writing, dissects the complex mess of the Vietnam War and presents it back to readers in terms understandable even to middle school students. The first third of the book is devoted to a succinct, cogent history of Vietnam providing background information that is necessary to have in order to understand how the United States became embroiled in combat there. The rest of the book describes the escalation of hostilities, the nature of the guerrilla combat, [...]

    23. Sometimes perspective helps us understand what happened more clearly than we did when we were caught up in the events swirling around us. For those of us who lived through the turbulent times associated with the war in Vietnam and for those who know very little of that conflict other than its brief mention in history books, Russell Freedman, master chronicler of historical events, provides a balanced account of how the United States became increasingly embroiled in a conflict thousands of miles [...]

    24. I really enjoyed Freedman's explanation of the war, with the political climate of both America and Vietnam, and the events leading up to the war. Freedman covered the local response in both countries, which was also awesome. Approachable, understandable, and highly recommended.Includes timeline, source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, picture credits, and index.

    25. Well researched; and a fair presentation of the history leading up to the Vietnam War, and the political, social, and military events during the War.

    26. A concise, yet informative text about the Vietnam War. The inclusion of multimedia enhanced the information presented.

    27. Just couldn't make myself finish this book. Such a senseless waste. I read Most Dangerous last year and just couldn't read anymore about this topic.

    28. Beyond America: Russell Freedman's VietnamThe incomparable Russell Freedman untangles the Vietnam War and follows its aftermath to the present day.By Brianna WesterveltIf I thought my knowledge of the war in Vietnam was sufficient enough, Russell Freedman certainly proved me wrong. In his latest title for young readers and up, Vietnam: A History of the War, the much-honored Freedman expertly weaves the entire history of the Vietnam conflict (war was never officially declared; who knew?). That in [...]

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