From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-This "documentary history" provides a social and political context for the conflict, with no military history and little coverage of the actual fighting. Instead, it focuses on the official documents, speeches, quotes, media commentary, and memoirs that trace the history of French and, later, American involvements in South East Asia. The documents are skillfully tied together by brief text that gives good background information. The authors primarily credit gross miscalculations on the part of American policy makers, such as John Foster Dulles and Robert S. McNamara, in helping lead the country into this conflict and are often critical of the United States politicians. A concluding section recounts a Vietnamese woman's return visit to her homeland long after the war, describes the changes in U.S./Vietnamese relations and attitudes, and looks at the role of the war in limiting the expansion of Communism. Related topics, such as the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam Veterans against the War, and the Kent State shootings, are covered, and ample information on Ho Chi Minh is included. The book is well balanced in showing both sides; the tragedy of the war i+s underlined by truly awful statistics on the amount of munitions used, the destruction of Vietnam, and the loss of life. Good-quality, black-and-white photos and illustrations are plentiful and informative. Comparable in style and reading level to John M. Dunn's A History of U.S. Involvement (Lucent, 2001), this excellent title could be used in conjunction with William Dudley's The Vietnam War: Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven, 1997).Jeffrey A. French, Euclid Public Library, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Simply terrific. If I were teaching the Vietnam War, I would rush to use it. The photos are extraordinary and the documents powerful. There is no better single volume on the war that makes the events and ideas come alive as this book does."--Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
"Comprised of first- and second-hand accounts of American policy in Vietnam during the 1960s. Its primary sources are held together chronologically with narrative. Political cartoons, U.S. government files, Vietnamese iconography, and song lyrics by Bruce Springsteen are among the book's most compelling and evocative elements."--Hampshire Gazette
"Provides historials and students of history with a wealth of first-hand information missing from past conflicts. Those "primary sources"...provide the basis for a different way to teach history - allowing students to decide the meaning."--Longmeadow News