Western narratives of the twentieth-century wars in Vietnam, Bradley writes, have “rendered the Vietnamese almost invisible in the making of their own history.” In this corrective study, Bradley skimps on anecdote and characterization, and his short treatise too often reads like a long encyclopedia entry. At its best, though, the book is a kind of review of Vietnamese literature, drawing on the war diary of a conflicted provincial physician, a novel about a paratrooper who is afraid to jump, irreverent peasant verse, playful proverbs (“The moon in China is much rounder than in the USA”), and the nineteen-sixties antiwar songs of the draft-dodging Trinh Công Son.
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"This book's high level of craftsmanship deserves recognition...well organized and fluidly written...Clear, concise, comprehensive, and adorned with revealing photographs and instructive suggestions for further reading, Vietnam at War
is perfectly crafted for use in an undergraduate course." -- H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews