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Bare Feet, Iron Will ~ Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields Hardcover – April 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Fortis Publishing (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977788490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977788491
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,046,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

War is not always black & white ...

The Vietnam war left an indelible mark on America. Not since our Civil War has a conflict so divided our people.

And, a generation after the war in Vietnam ended; many Americans remain haunted by its memory. More than three decades after the fall of Saigon, it is time to better understand the enemy we fought in Vietnam and the role their "Iron Will" played in its outcome.

The best way to do so is by sharing the personal experiences of the men and women who epitomized this Will--empowering them to live, fight, endure and prevail in their war with America.

And, by doing so...perhaps those still haunted by the Vietnam conflict can begin the process of exorcising its ghosts.

Stories never before told--from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields ... as revealed in hundreds of personal interviews with enemy veterans & their war diaries.

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel James Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the 1989 intervention into Panama and Desert Storm. An author, speaker and business executive, he also currently heads a security consulting firm named after his father--Admiral Zumwalt & Consultants, Inc.

He writes extensively on foreign policy and defense issues, having written hundreds of articles for various newspapers, magazines and professional journals, including:

USA Today The Washington Post The New York Times The Washington Times The LA Times The Chicago Tribune The San Diego Union Parade magazine & others

His articles have covered issues of major importance, oftentimes providing readers with unique perspectives that have never appeared elsewhere. This has resulted, on several occasions, in his work being cited by members of Congress and entered into the US Congressional Record.

His thoughtful perspectives earned him an invitation to join the prestigious Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), of which the honorary co-chairmen are Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Jon Kyl, former Secretary of State George P. Schultz and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey. The CPD is a non-partisan organization with one goal--to stiffen American resolve to confront the challenge presented by terrorism and the ideologies that drive it.

Colonel Zumwalt is featured as one of 56 US military professionals in LEADING THE WAY, a book by best-selling author Al Santoli, which documents the most critical moments of the interviewees' combat experiences from Vietnam to Somalia.

He has also been cited in numerous other books and publications for unique insights based on his research on the Vietnam war, North Korea (a country he has visited ten times and about which he is able to share some very telling observations) and Desert Storm.

Colonel Zumwalt received a presidential appointment to be the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, in which capacity he served from 1991-1992.

Because of his expertise, he also was asked to participate in a very unique educational project conducted at a high school in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he voluntarily contributes time and resources to educating students on issues of international importance.

Customer Reviews

This book brings that reality home.
Jernigan Snowden
I'll be including references to the Zumwalt book, with credits to the author, of course.
Larry Brower
I highly recommend this book to all who desire to read about war and peace.
Uong Nguyen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By SunbonnetSmart on April 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After seeing the movie, TUNNEL RATS (2008)available on NetFlix, this book was a timely referral by a friend. I was captured by the strong title and soon committed to turning every page until I was on the last. I was not disappointed except, perhaps, by the inevitable despair of the subject itself. When I was in college during the Vietnam War, the nightly news was my closest interaction with the immediacy of war. I more fully understood the sacrifices required by service members' families after I married a Marine and lived at MCAS New River, Jacksonville, NC. For me, this book put a face on the enemy. It's poignant details made me take a bite of American humble pie as I realized the courage and fortitude of the people, not just the men, making up the doggedly persistent Vietnam fighting forces. But, along with my humble pie bite, I now understand that the barefoot enemy fought with a determination that turned the least of armaments into powerful oppositions. Having gained a better insight into the other side of the story, the legacy of whatever happened in Vietnam is easier to understand. Anyone with an interest in these observations should definitely read this book as I am overwhelmed by the scope of the project and probably can't do it justice. I can say, however, that BARE FEET, IRON WILL provided me with a tube of ointment to continue healing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim Barns on November 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I add this book to my list of The Best and the Brightest, The Weight They Carried and the movie, Platoon for another compelling insight into another aspect of the war, in this case, what our enemy was made of- remarkable determination and ingenuity. The other reviews have covered what I would write. This book deserves wide dissemination. In itself, it is a remarkable effort-showing courage, determination and sensitivity to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jernigan Snowden on October 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The sign of a good writer is one who can make the reader empathize with a story's main character. The author of this book has done this many times over as each chapter shares insights about a different character who has endured the hardships of battle and somehow survived. Oftentimes, as Americans, and as the author accurately states, we sometimes tend to lose sight of the fact that human suffering occurs on both sides of a battlefield. Too often we focus on our own suffering not even considering what may have happened on the enemy's side. This book brings that reality home. While few American families were touched by the loss of a loved one, such losses were endemic on the enemy's side. This point was driven home sadly by the Vietnamese mothers who, in some cases, lost all their children to the war effort. I think the author has done a remarkable job of helping to humanize an enemy about whom little has previously been written.

The only question I have is why it took so long for someone to understand the universal suffering of the Vietnamese and provide us with such insights from their side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Hannum on June 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As is so often the case in our society, we Americans feel the way we view things is always THE WAY TO VIEW THINGS. We have impacted many cultures and like the locusts of the Bible, leave barren fields in our wake. The Viet Nan war was run by the media which left an American perspective on those who did not participate directly in that action. Bare feet Iron Will brings to light the perspective of those who suffered directly by having their land and their culture torn apart by yet another foreign invader. Since the Civil War America has not feared its children would wake to the sound of cannons firing in its streets. We are a culture of instant gratification so the ideas brought to light in this book are a revelation.In reading of the Vietnamese struggles ,we will remember the high price of war.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John D on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Zumwalt's book should be required reading for every world leader who has the authority to send troops to war. In the long term, it is not the strength of a nations army and the size of its' weapons that ultimately determines victory, but the strength of its' peoples determination and the size of their hearts.

The message in his book is reminiscent of conversations I had with my Dad, a World War II veteran. Growing up, I often asked, "How did the Americans win the war"? His answer was simple. "Determination and Ingenuity."
The GI had a job to do. He was determined to do whatever it took, for however long it took, to defeat the Germans and Japanese. This determination gave rise to an incredible level of ingenuity that continued well after the war.

The qualities exhibited by Americans in the 1940's are the same qualities exhibited by the Vietnamese in the 1960's and 1970's.

Excellent read - 5 Stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Uong Nguyen on June 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
"I'm giving you this book 'Bare Feet, Iron Will' as a gift," said my Australian friend, Trevor King an ex-soldier of the Vietnam War. The title and the cover of the book immediately captured my attention.
I took the book and read it from cover to cover that same weekend. I was astonished by the seriousness, thorough research and honesty of the author, ex-officer James G. Zumwalt.
It is in this book that Zumwalt captures a picture of the war that caused so much hurt in the psyche of most people involved, and the destruction of much of Vietnam in that long terrible war. However, the heart of the book is to bring about the healing of the two nations.
Zumwalt is qualified to analyse in many aspects the cultures and soldiers from both sides, and how the warriors of those nations prepared and engaged in that war. It is a good book to read. Zumwalt is writing not just another book concerning the war that America was heavily involved in. Though the allies achieved an objective by halting the spread of Communism, it cost the lives of 58,000 fine young men, and billions upon billions of dollars, spent for a painful experience.
If history is a thread of interactions of people and events, or as philosopher Thomas Carlyle states, "History is the essence of innumerable biographies," then, Zumwalt has done an excellent job by gleaning from all levels, from the generals, officers, and ordinary retired soldiers of the North Vietnamese army. He openly interviewed them to thread their stories together and has written with a fabulous journalistic and scholarly style.
However, as a gifted officer and analyst Zumwalt sees the more central view; yet the book is so easy and intriguing to read.
Read more ›
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