Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War First Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 4 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0132769327
ISBN-10: 0132769328
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The lack of a truly comprehensive encyclopedia on the Vietnam War has long been a problem for reference staff in academic, public, and school libraries. While a definitive work must necessarily await the opening of Vietnamese archives and the translation of North and South Vietnamese documents and memoirs, Kutler (American Retrospectives, Johns Hopkins Univ., 1995) and his colleagues have presented librarians and scholars with an outstanding single-volume handbook on the history and personalities of the conflict. Organized in the traditional manner of alphabetical entries of individuals, places, and events, this work merits special mention for the critical nature of the writing and the inclusion of ten authoritative essays on political, social, and military aspects of the period (e.g., the antiwar movement, art and literature, and colonialism). The volume is not limited to the American experience in Vietnam but adds to our knowledge through extensive descriptions of the leading Vietnamese participants and issues. This fact alone represents a break with most previous Vietnam War literature. Essential for any academic or public library with holdings on the Vietnam War.?John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

This comprehensive, clearly written work brings together the political, military, diplomatic, and cultural aspects of the war, with the most detailed focus on America's involvement. Many articles trace the historical background of Southeast Asia and the war's impact on the region and the wider world. Editor Kutler, a professor of American Institutions at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has written on the Nixon presidency. The list of contributors includes scholars from the U.S. Army Center of Military History and other institutions and many persons whose affiliations are listed as "Madison, Wisconsin," suggesting they are graduate students.

A chronology outlines Vietnam's early history, the French colonial era, growing U.S. intervention, full-scale war, and the aftermath, concluding with U.S. recognition in 1995. In the encyclopedia portion of the volume are major essays on such topics as the antiwar movement, art and literature, military strategy and tactics, drugs and drug use, the media and the war, diplomacy, American and Vietnamese perspectives, and the order of battle for various forces with units, commanders, and dates. Shorter articles treat military and political leaders on all sides, organizations, slang, and places. Each article is signed and includes a bibliography. Many black-and-white photos, 12 black-and-white maps, and several tables enhance our understanding. Concluding the work are an extensive bibliographic essay, copies of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and Paris Peace Accords, a list of Medal of Honor recipients, a synoptic outline of contents, and a detailed index.

Dictionary of the Vietnam War (Greenwood, 1988) and Vietnam War Almanac (Facts On File, 1985) are both useful ready-reference sources but lack the depth of this new work. The bibliographies in the encyclopedia are more current, citing research done in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War (reviewed in this issue) provides color maps on mostly military topics.

These 564 articles and numerous images of a war that had a hugely divisive effect on the U.S. sear us. This encyclopedia is a vital purchase for secondary, public, and academic libraries.


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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2011
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