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We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam Hardcover – August 19, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. It would be a monumental task for Moore and Galloway to top their classic 1992 memoir, We Were Soldiers Once... and Young. But they come close in this sterling sequel, which tells the backstory of two of the Vietnam War's bloodiest battles (in which Moore participated as a lieutenant colonel), their first book and a 1993 ABC-TV documentary that brought them back to the battlefield. Moore's strong first-person voice reviews the basics of the November 1965 battles, part of the 34-day Battle of the Ia Drang Valley. Among other things, Moore and Galloway (who covered the battle for UPI) offer portraits of two former enemy commanders, generals Nguyen Huu An and Chu Huy Man, whom the authors met—and bonded with—nearly three decades after the battle. This book proves again that Moore is an exceptionally thoughtful, compassionate and courageous leader (he was one of a handful of army officers who studied the history of the Vietnam wars before he arrived) and a strong voice for reconciliation and for honoring the men with whom he served. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Aug. 19) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."

From Booklist

The authors of We Were Soldiers Once and Young (1992) here powerfully recount their return to the battlefields of the first book. They visited both landing zones for the deadly battle of the Ia Drang Valley and spent a night on the battlefield of Dien Bien Phu, haunted by a previous generation of ghosts of both sides and part of the experience of North Vietnamese veterans, too. The latter survivors, like their American counterparts, belong to a diminishing band, yet Moore and Galloway managed to interview some of Moore’s counterparts or their widows and children and found a curiosity about how matters looked from the other side equal to theirs. Scenery, memories, and the current state of Vietnam are all vividly depicted, but the most powerful writing comes in the epilogue’s tribute to two departed Ia Drang comrades, one a platoon commander who died saving lives on 9/11, the other career officer Moore’s wife of 55 years. If, as Moore says, there are no noble wars, there is a lot of nobility among the warriors. --Roland Green

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (August 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061147761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061147760
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Guns are Silent, but the Memories Remain
I've always enjoyed "where are they now" reminisces. General Hal Moore and Combat Reporter Joe Galloway do yeoman's work in this sequel to We Were Soldiers Once...and Young. The original book was about the horrific first major battle of the Vietnam War in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. Surrounded and barely able to escape with the remnants of his battalion after 3 days of ferocious combat, General Moore longed to one day return to that hallowed ground that so many American and Vietnamese fought and died for. Finally after lengthy bureaucratic delays, he and 10 veterans of that now fabled battle, plus several of the enemy commanders, returned to the "Forest of the Screaming Souls"-The Ia Drang Valley. This book is their story of completing the circle, of putting to rest the combat demons that try men's souls. Further, the book allows the authors to explore how that war changed them all, as well as the two countries. It was an emotional journey both back to the past and to the future as Moore and Galloway examine how that battle impacted their lives and their soldiers' lives forever.
The Chapter on Leadership is very good and pertains to the realities of life whether in the military or fighting the corporate wars of today. The Chapter on War is interesting in light of the struggles America is undergoing today in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The touching Tribute to Hal Moore's wife Julie is very inspirational and worth the read, as most non-military families do not understand the heavy price military wives pay for their husband's career choice.
All in all an excellent book. As a retired military officer who served in Vietnam, Panama, and Desert Shield/Storm, I found it both touching and illuminating.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I need hardly add superlatives to the monumental epic that was "We were Soldiers Once..." I consider myself priveleged to have read and thereby shared the epic events described in the company of a humanitarian, reflective and yet ultimately humble hero, General Moore.
You rocket in on that chopper and the book gets it on from the get go.
Once you are through the X-Ray and Albany horrors don't expect a respite. I cried like a child as the fallout from the deaths of these brave men was spelled out by those they left behind.
I recommend that you then watch the Mel Gibson movie to compare your mind's eye picture of the battle with Hollywood's. Old Mel did a fine job. It was exactly how I had pictured it. Book followed by movie; usually such a move is a fraught exercise but this only enhanced my understanding.
The film does not address the subsequent Albany ambush and what appears to be a huge embarassment for the army. Failures all along the line led to a needless massacre. The army looked the other way in the aftermath. Moore does not shy away from the controversy in this second book and Westmoreland gets a lot of stick. (Nothing compared to Moore's later stinging rebuke of Dubya and Rumsfeld...may they burn in hell for the US lives they have so recklessly thrown away)
"We are Warriors Still" I found compulsory reading in order to complete my Ia Drang experience. I found it mesmerizing and heartbreaking. Moore and his comrades do the ultimate service to their dead buddies by flying to the now deserted battlesite and walking the lines on one last patrol.
I ate up the book barely pausing in my need to equate now with then; in my pleasure at feeling the noble warmth of Moore's humanity. Those troops could not have had a better commander in the field. A Rommel of a man!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hal Moore sums up his interesting life in this short book. It's only partially tied to the 1965 battle in the Ia Drang Valley. Still, he describes moving events in 1993 when he, Joe Galloway, a few veterans and a couple of former North Vietmanese officers meet to reflect, re-live and celebrate sacrifice on both sides. They even hold hands and pray.

The book is more about the important events in Moore's life: how he got to West Point,side-trip to Dien Bien Phu, assignments to Korea, leadership lessons and views on warfare.

One of the problems I had reading the preface is I couldn't figure out who wrote it. I also question why the authors characterize the war as good nationalists driving out the bad foreign invader,namely the United States. Moore seems to say in the end, the good guys won: "...they (the North Vietnamese) were fighting so hard because, like America's own revolutionaries, they had a burning desire to drive foreigners out of their native land...and now that the guns had fallen silent and peace had return to their land they proved to be proud fathers, good husbands, loyal citizens, and, yes, good friends."

My impression was and is the North Vietnamese were fighting to unify the country under an NVA banner. The real losers were not the Americans but the South Vietnamese. After the NVA victory an estimated 100,000 South Vietnamese were executed, others died in reducation camps and at sea. Despite what Moore/Galloway write, I don't think there's any moral equivalency between us and the North Vietnamese on one side, the South Vietnamese on the other.
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