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Old 08-06-2019, 05:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I don't agree at all, all books might be biased in some form because the authors are human, but there are some written with a specific pre-defined agenda, perhaps a concept that they want to prove, that goes beyond the writing of history.
Sheehan would be in that group...……….
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:39 PM
 
914 posts, read 208,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
Every book ever written is biased, even unbiased ones. That said, I also recommend The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Burns and Ward. I'm a history buff and many history books written are deadly dull and too verbose. This one isn't.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1R9XOE/ref=docs-os-doi_0
bias = any opinion differing from the person who wants a 'lack of bias'
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Washington state
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You might try "The Long Gray Line" by Rick Atkinson. It follows the Class of '66 at West Point from when the young men first enter the academy through the Vietnam war and afterwards. It's quite an interesting read. Even today I still see some of the people in the book mentioned in the news.

It's not a book that goes into detail about why the war was fought or how the politicians saw it, but rather it reflects what happened to the people who fought it and how it affected them afterwards.

It's a long book and full of names and characters, but well worth the read.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:05 AM
 
Location: SE WI
526 posts, read 365,556 times
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Once again, I certainly do appreciate everyone's input on this. I am leaning towards starting with the Vietnam War by Geoffrey Ward book to start out with and also watch the Burns documentary. From there I do want to dive into the Swift boats history. I was amazed at how many of these are at my local (small town) library.


I compiled a list of the recommendations to date:


Vietnam War, by Geoffrey C. Ward
Vietnam, an Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975 " by Max Hastings
Swift Boats at War in Vietnam by Guy Gugliotta
The Bright and Shining Lie: General John Paul Vann by Neil Sheehan
Vietnam by Stanley Karnow
Fire in the Lake by Frances Fitzgerald
The Tragedy and Lessons of the Vietnam War by Robert S. McNamara
The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
Nam by Mark Baker
Combat Medic: Vietnam" by Craig Roberts
Aftermath by Frederick Downs
Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu" by Bernard Fall
Tunnels of Cu Chi" by Tom Mangold.
A Soldier Reports" by General William Westmoreland
Frank Grzyb - Touched by the dragon
Tim O'Brien's - If I Die in a Combat Zone.
Dispatches by Michael Herr
A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo
The Long Gray Line by Rick Atkinson


Thanks to all of you for your help!
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:57 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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There are so many books about different aspects of the Vietnam War written by authors with different agendas. For those whose lives like mine were directly affected by that war can you believe it was 50 years ago? Young and now old.


What can you say about that conflict that were matters of life and death to so many people who were drafted our volunteered for that conflict. Never trust any politician no matter what affiliation who recklessly places lives in jeopardy based on lies and deceptions.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:10 AM
 
12,467 posts, read 18,556,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
Sheehan would be in that group...……….
When you have a book titled "The Great American Lie" you can conclude that, yeah, just maybe there is an agenda involved here. LOL It got good reviews but indeed I would not recommend that book to one just starting out on Vietnam War history.
Maybe it can be forgiven because it's somewhat of a biography.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:47 PM
 
5,169 posts, read 2,276,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
When you have a book titled "The Great American Lie" you can conclude that, yeah, just maybe there is an agenda involved here. LOL It got good reviews but indeed I would not recommend that book to one just starting out on Vietnam War history.
Maybe it can be forgiven because it's somewhat of a biography.
Nick Turse is another liar who you can throw his book away...…………...he indiscriminately accused people by lying...…

https://www.prlog.org/12529094-agree...-massacre.html
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:58 AM
 
9,293 posts, read 9,365,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
When you have a book titled "The Great American Lie" you can conclude that, yeah, just maybe there is an agenda involved here. LOL It got good reviews but indeed I would not recommend that book to one just starting out on Vietnam War history.
Maybe it can be forgiven because it's somewhat of a biography.
Neil Sheehan's book A Bright and Shining Lie: General John Paul Vann, America in Vietnam is an excellent biography of the Vietnam War. Sheehan does what many authors do not try to do. He explains how the logistics present in Vietnam created an almost insurmountable problem for American forces.

Bad book? It received the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for general non-fiction.

One example of what I am talking about is his description of how North Vietnam would supply Viet Cong forces operating in South Vietnam. Supplies were sent south through the Ho Chi Minh Trail. America tried to interdict these supplies primarily by sending aircraft to bomb and attack the trucks and vehicles bringing the supplies south. The problem was one of numbers. North Vietnam had a fleet of thousands of trucks. American combat aircraft in this theater did not exceed a few hundred. Many of the trucks got through simply because not enough missions could be flown to stop the trucks. There were other issues as well. Much of the travel occurred at night. Bridges across rivers could not be destroyed by aircraft because they were often mobile and were simply towed into place after dark and than removed before morning. Anyway, the bulk of supplies sent to the Viet Cong got through.

Bombing North Vietnam was problematic for a series of reasons. There were few targets of actual military value in North Vietnam. It was not like Germany in World War II. Attempts to do things like destroy petroleum, oils, and lubricants failed because they had been disbursed to forces before the limited oil refineries in Haiphong were attacked by American forces.

Sheehan's analysis is not new. Most of the limitations he describes were understood by American leadership at the time. It was just kept secret.

One of my principal questions as an amateur historian is why America could not win the Vietnam War in a conventional sense through its overwhelming military power.

What Sheehan does is illustrate through personal observation and actual history that American strategy could not win the war.

I found the book to be quite valuable.

Last edited by markg91359; 08-10-2019 at 07:07 AM..
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:49 AM
 
3,993 posts, read 3,299,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post

One of my principal questions as an amateur historian is why America could not win the Vietnam War in a conventional sense through its overwhelming military power.
From the reading I've done on the Vietnam war, and the cold war that encapsulated it, I've come to the conclusion that America's biggest military contractors won the war, hands down. That realization, that money was the sole Pentagon objective, and the fact that tons of it was given to the weapons industry, is certainly disturbing. Eisenhower's views on the military and it's very powerful contractors lobby went unheeded by congress, the entire cold war philosophy was conceived as a revenue stream for post Korean war weapons makers.

Anyone who wants to understand that war will certainly have to include the idea that war is a super profitable business, and in that vein, the truth of most of our "conflicts" can be found. For those who wish to read about the day to day slug-fest which killed fifty eight thousand US soldiers and wounded millions of civilians, I'd heartily recommend Phil Caputo's A Rumor Of War a great accounting of the total insanity commonly practiced by the American military leadership.
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:28 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Jungle terrain. Mountain ranges. Phony body counts vs actually holding territory. Sympathetic villagers in the the boondocks who hated the Saigon government and sheltered the NVA and the VC. Even the B 52 bombers couldn’t eliminate the little guys who trekked through the foliage in their rubber sandals with their AK 47 rifles.
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