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Strange Ground: An Oral History Of Americans In Vietnam, 1945-1975 Paperback – March 22, 1998


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Strange Ground: An Oral History Of Americans In Vietnam, 1945-1975 + Why The North Won The Vietnam War + Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919-1950 (The New Cold War History)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 652 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press ed edition (March 22, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306808390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306808395
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,599,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Journalist Harry Maurer is the author of Not Working: An Oral History of the Unemployed, Webs of Power: International Cartels and the World Economy, and Sex: An Oral History. He lives in New York City.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By raskidmore@compuserve.com on July 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a compilation of fascinating accounts of Vietnam from the people who experienced it. Maurer covers it all-from the grunt in the jungle to the men making policy, the civilians, families, medics, sailors, pilots, and government workers. The accounts of government workers and policy makers are a refreshing change from the usual RAMBO-type accounts that seem to fill the movie screens and popular fiction. Maurer doesn't interfere with their stories and admits upfront his role in Vietnam-- none whatsoever! This does not detract from the feeling of authenticity of this book. One feels pride for the Americans who fought, but also helplessness, sadness, and anger- the "strange ground" of the Vietnam conflict
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By brazos49 VINE VOICE on August 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I thought this was a well conceived selection of interviews with people who brought perspectives on Vietnam from lots of different angles. Other books I've read do a better and more thorough job of covering combat aspects, but this one excels by covering the experiences of other participants - particularly the agriculture/education/medical volunteers and the diplomatic/intelligence people.
If you don't read the whole book, at least read the interviews with John Ameroso (the International Voluntary Services agricultural advisor) and Alan Carter (the U.S. Information Service officer in the embassy). Ameroso's story is inspiring in terms of how much grass roots good could be done with a practical approach to aid. Carter's story is maddening in terms of how bad things were in the embassy.
I notice that another reviewer of this book takes the author to task for including an interview by a reported fraud. If that's true, the author deserves strong criticism. If you're only compiling interviews to construct a book, you owe it to the readers to at least do a little checking up on those you include. Still, there is enough excellent material in this book for me to give it highest marks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris P. OConnell on March 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After you read a few books on the Vietnam War you begin to see the same information being stated over and over again. It gets a little old after a while.

This book focuses on the people on the ground in Vietnam from the very beginning in 1945. It also gives you not only what the people interviewed WERE like, but what has happened to them since and what they are currently doing. It offers a very personal insight into how the war affected the course of their lives.

The topics range from an administrator living in Saigon talking about his own, and other Americans involvement in the Vietnamese sex industry, to pacification of the countryside from people with tremendously differing points of view.

The only perspective lacking in this book is that of the Vietnamese people. To get that I recommend "Major Problems in the Vietnam War" by Robert McMahon, which offers some insight, interviews and official documents from the Vietnamese most directly influenced by the ravages of war.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jungntch@telusplanet.net on September 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Widely varying views of the conflict from ordinary people who lived through it. Truth is stranger than fiction.
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