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Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1985


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (July 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345311973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345311979
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

As a senior in high school I took a class on the History of the Vietnam War. BLOODS was not required reading for the class nor do I remember the teacher talking specifically about Black Veterans, but since I enjoyed the class I wanted to read some more firsthand accounts of what the soldiers went through. I noticed BLOODS in the Vietnam section of the bookstore and on a whim I started reading it in the store and was really into it, so I bought it.

BLOODS is the oral history of twenty black veterans of the Vietnam War, and the author is also a veteran. The stories in it are gripping and you can sense what a horrible experience war is, particularly for these minority soldiers who are fighting for an America that hasn't always been fair to them. This book gave me a perspective that I was glad to get.

As a result of Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," there has been a renewed interest in stories of our war veterans. BLOODS provides the kinds of insights into war and the military that only those who've experienced its horrors can convey. The additional (and key) component of race adds another dimension to this remarkable tale.

From the Inside Flap

"Simply the most powerful and moving book that has emerged on this topic." UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
The national bestseller that tells the truth of about Vietnam from the black soldiers' perspective. An oral history unlike any other, BLOODS features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off in disproportionate numbers and the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, BLOODS is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective.
Cited by THE NEW YORK TIMES as One of the Notable Books of the Year
"Superb."
TIME

Customer Reviews

This is one of those books that many will read in one sitting.
Non Fiction Only
This book was a great first person perspective of the experience of some African Americans during the Vietnam war.
Daria Spain
I, too, would also love to know what happened to some of the other participants in the book.
Traci Daniels

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Rowan on June 21, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is similar to Santoli's book regarding individual experiences in the Vietnam conflict. You definitely get a feel for the Vietnam experience, and it is very readable. The narratives portray the unique challenges of this experience, along with the added dimension of the race issue. The range of assessments of the racial issue was amazing and educational for me; some of the vets had active civil-rights values and even revolutionary values before getting to Vietnam, and some had little or no opinions regarding race relations despite the turbulent times. The great range of views regarding whites and the dominant U.S. culture, including government, was intriguing. The attitudes toward the Vietnamese, both North- and South-, also held great range, and was fascinating. This leads me to feel that the strength of this memorable book is the common experience conveyed simultaneously with the diversity of experiences and attitudes.
My only disappointment was that I could not tell the manner in which the narratives were elicited. Were these vets asked to describe their Vietnam experience? Were they asked to explain what it was like to be a Black soldier?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is on the "Recommended Reading List" of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 295, Indianapolis, Indiana
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Skipper1@Pacbell.net on October 19, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you really want the full story of the men and wormen who served in the Vietnam war, Wallace Terry's book is must be read. "Read it, share it, discuss it with other vetrans, and put it on your library shelf." This fact filled story of black soliders in Vietnam is gripping.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on March 29, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans," by Wallace Terry, brings together the voices of 20 veterans. The book includes, as Terry notes in his introduction, "Enlisted men, noncommissioned officers, and commissioned officers. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines." Also included are men who served time as prisoners-of-war. Altogether the time spent by these men in Vietnam spans from 1963 to 1973.

This is a diverse and compelling collection of personal stories. The men in the book held a wide variety of military jobs in Vietnam, among them rifleman, combat engineer, medic, interpreter, combat photographer, electronic warfare officer, armorer, combat paratrooper, and more. The veterans discuss many topics: racism, interracial friendship and bonding, receiving and recovering from wounds, wartime atrocities, and post-Vietnam life.

It's hard to pick out a few representative stories from this rich and rewarding collection, but I'll try. One man describes his work as an activist for incarcerated veterans after the war; another discusses becoming a champion amputee athlete after being disabled in Vietnam; another fondly remembers one of the war's military working dogs. Fred Cherry's graphic account of his suffering as a POW is devastating. Dwyte Brown's memories of the inland R&R spot-a "paradise"-make for an ironic and enjoyable contrast to some of the grimmer entries. And Sergeant Major Edgar Huff's chapter recalls not just Vietnam, but a Marine Corps career that spanned three decades.

Terry's text masterfully captures vernacular speech. I could really imagine these veterans speaking the words. The book also includes black-and-white photographs; a glossary of military terms, acronyms, and slang; and a chronology of the Vietnam War. Moving and powerful, "Bloods" is, in my opinion, an important contribution to the fields of African-American studies and military history.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Traci Daniels on January 24, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would love to respond to all of the comments and customer reviews. My name is Traci Daniels, and my father Robert L. Daniels, one of the soldiers profiled in this book, just passed away on January 3rd, 2008. I was in the picture with him in the book and am now a 27 year old successful businesswoman. My father and I were fiercely close, and the pain, mental and physical anguish that he suffered due to Vietnam still lives on with the current conflict in Iraq. I, too, would also love to know what happened to some of the other participants in the book. Please respond if you are out there, and God bless you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As an new age Army veterian, I have had the opputunity to read many books about Veitnam, but when I found Mr. Wallace Terry Book, I was amased that I can finally read about the black soldier prospective. Over the years I find myself picking up this book again and again, I have 5 copy's in my collects now, To those who want to know how it was during those time, take my advice get the book...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two hundred Vietnam veterans were asked to rank l00 novels and non-fiction books that came out of the Vietnam War. Five "oral histories" were in the top fifteen books. BLOODS was one of them. The other four? A PIECE OF MY HEART, EVERYTHING WE HAD, NAM: AN ORAL HISTORY and CASUALTIES. Get them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Johnson on June 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I finished this remarkable book several hours ago and I am afraid that it will stay with me forever; there are memories of events that will never leave me and I have no idea how the people actively involved in those events will ever outlive their memory.

Vietnam was my war; I was supposed to participate in it's patriotic overview but instead I grew enough between finishing high school in '65 and scoring a high number in the draft lottery in January of '71 (I think that date is right) to become 4F and miss the mental carnage of that terrible conflict.

How can any person forget the horror of the incidents chronicled in these 291 ages? And when you think you have read about the worst, along comes Arthur Woodley's story on page 236 and you enter a whole new world of actions you had tangetially read about in the main-stream media decades ago and here it is presented as a memoir of one of the guys who carried out some of those actions. I fully admit that I am not mature enough at 60 to read that these things happened to people so I have the Fates to thank for denying me the right to be a participant--the VC I could probably handle, breaking bread with these guys would been suicidal.

Anyone living through the Fifties and Sixties and even into the Seventies probably, could not avoid the heavy veneer of racism glued, seemingly permanently, to American society. It was a cancer that sapped the society of the very goodness that it so desired to demonstrate to the rest of the "uneducated and undemocratic" world. Any reader must, as I was, be struck by the horrendous racial slurs, both words and activities, in that "Christian" society; a scratch, regardless of how minute, would immediately open to view the putrefaction of this racism.
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