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Street Without Joy Hardcover – March 1, 1994


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Street Without Joy + Hell In A Very Small Place: The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu + DEVILS GUARD
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; Rev Sub edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811717003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811717007
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...A dramatic treatment of a historic event ... the vast panorama of the Indochina struggle emerges with graphic impact." --The New York Times Book Review

"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek --Newsweek

"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek

"...A dramatic treatment of a historic event ... the vast panorama of the Indochina struggle emerges with graphic impact." -- The New York Times Book Review<br /><br />"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bernard B. Fall was born in France and fought with the French Resistance during World War II. While traveling in Vietnam in 1967, he was killed by a Vietcong explosive. His other works include Hell in a Very Small Place (0-306-81157-X) and Last Reflections on a War (0-8117-0904-3).

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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To understand the Vietnam War or any war this book should be a must read.
S. Sherrard
The most interesting aspect of this book is Fall's ability to read the future, a forecast future "Streets Without Joy" for the US in Vietnam.
John B
Pick up the book, start reading and be transported back in time to Indochina.
Dr Neil MacNeill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By peter j drobeck on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Thirty six years ago I read Street Without Joy and after two tours in Vietnam and alot reflection and anguish since then, I still am at a loss for words. How could we have gotten into such a conflict without someone paying attention to history. This author told a saga of what strife and terrible history that southeast Asia has had and no-one listened. I have re-read this book many times and still am amazed at its context. Unfortunately I have loaned it out too many times and now have to order another copy. Its a book that needs to be read by every politician that has any thoughts of trying to change history.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful By P. Connors on July 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the masterpiece that introduced Bernard B. Fall to the elite of the US political, diplomatic and military decision makers who made the fatal and tragic error to involve the United States in the internal deliberations of Viet Nam and her people after the ened of the French colonial period in Indo-China.
While many in Washington in the early 1960s claimed to have read this book, obviously, very few heeded its message. Had they done so, it would seem that the United States, despite all its arrogance, might have avoided the quagmire that Viet Nam became and the multitude of deaths that occurred as the result of our hubris.
Published in 1961 (more than 4 years before the beginning of the US build-up in SE Asia), Fall provided his readers with an exceptionally strong historical and political analysis of the region, its people and their leaders. Again, the Washington elite seemed to have disregarded the quality of the material and the skill of the messenger as they barged head-long into our longest and most divisive war. It was one that would ultimately cause America to question itself and to cause the American people to question the honesty and integrity of their leaders. That could have been avoided had more people heeded the message contained within the covers of Fall's outstanding treatise.
To be sure, Fall's loyalties were divided and often conflicted. Born and raised in France, he came to the USA after WW II to study. He first saw Viet Nam as a Fulbright scholar. He returned many times and became a recognized expert in the cultural, political and economic realities of the region.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Harold Y. Grooms on April 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this first hand account of the French war in Vietnam, Dr. Bernard Fall provides a critical analysis of French combat operations in a war that lasted from 1946 to 1954. Over 94,500 gallant, French soldiers died in this vain, yet valiant attempt to contain communism in Southeast Asia. What could and should we have learned from this tragedy?
Lessons learned included the folly of employing heavy, road-bound, mechanized/armored forces that were highly vulnerable to Viet-Cong (VC) ambushes, effective use of the jungle as a sanctuary by the VC, underestimating the stamina of the VC, and the ultimate war-weariness that caused the French public to rebel at fighting a seemingly endless conflict for no tangible gain. Add to this, the close coordination of political and military objectives that caused the Viet-Cong to sacrifice people, places and things to achieve a single objective: A Vietnam united under Communism. Does this sound familiar? This book, published in 1961, was readily available in the U.S. If it was read, it was ignored.
Fall gives detailed accounts of communist tactics and the results that accrued to French commanders who refused to recognize the fact that, "the (tactics) book," they had been schooled under simply did not apply in Vietnam. Amazingly, the U.S. then deployed our troops to Vietnam, with our own officers schooled by the same, "book!" Gallantry, esprit-de-corp, machismo, and/or faith in a righteous cause were no more effective against well-laid ambushes in the `60s and `70s than they were in the `40s and `50s. The lessons of history were there for the reading. Why we refused to heed them is a mystery that still calls for an answer.
Street Without Joy is not a left-wing condemnation of western "imperialism," or, the evils of "intervention.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Mcgivern Owen L on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The late Bernard Fall presents a hard-hitting, cynical history of the French period in Vietnam in the 10 years just after WW2 and an even more critical look at the early U.S. efforts in the early 1960s. This is not light reading and its not pretty.It will give an accurate description of what the "West" faced over there. As any Vietnam Vet would attest, there is nothing "light" or "pretty" about that place and cynical is the only appropriate attitude. It's so obvious now how Ho Chi Minh and General Giap were successful."If only we knew then..." Mr. Fall also does a first rate job in compressing the conflict into less than 400 pages (including notes and appendices). He didn't have to recount every battle to paint his picture. This reader appreciates his account of Viet Cong convoy attacks -from only one first hand experience- they put cook, clerk and grunt alike in equal, sudden and random danger. Its ironic that the author met his sudden death in just that way. Serious students of the French years in Vietnam should read "Street Without Joy" first and then proceed to "Hell In a Very Small Place", which concentrates on the tragic but heroic struggle of the French Army at the garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Were he still with us,I'm sure M. Fall was one of those guys it would be great to hava a few beers with. What stories he could tell! I'd love to know more about the two prostitutes who were commended for bravery and proposed for medals! What would Westy say about that!
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