Fought in a small Asian country unfamiliar to most Americans at the time, the Vietnam War became a cause that divided the nation and defined a counter-culture. The first televised war, newscasters became a force creating the greatest anti-war movement in history, while American boys suffered and died in jungles and rice paddies against guerilla soldiers they rarely saw face to face.
As Marrin does so well, he brings an objective look at the complex issues that brought America into this war, that compelled her to stay there, and that prevented her from pursuing a definitive conclusion. Beginning with a history of Vietnam from ancient times, readers will understand the cultural, religious, and geo-political forces that made Vietnam a desirable territory conquered again and again by rival nations. They will learn how America’s initial efforts to support anti-communist forces led to greater and greater involvement eventually spanning the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon.
Through photographs, perceptive epigraphs and first-person accounts, Marrin puts a human face on a multifaceted war. As Everett Alvarez, the longest-held POW in Vietnam, says of this book, “One of the book’s strong points is that it portrays the war the way the men who fought remember it.”