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)
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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