- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: iUniverse (April 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0595175511
- ISBN-13: 978-0595175512
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,576,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Only War We've Got: Early Days in South Vietnam
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"A riveting account of the Vietnam War in its openings round.
Recommended to students, veterans, and historians." -- Annals of Vietnam, February 2002
Early war and spot on. One of the best to give a feel for the war from the beginnings. --Phillip Jennings, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War, 2010
About the Author
Daniel Ford has spent a lifetime reading and writing about the wars of the past hundred years, from the Irish rebellion of 1916 to the counter-guerrilla operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is best known for his history of the American Volunteer Group--the 'Flying Tigers' of the Second World War--and his Vietnam novel that was filmed as Go Tell the Spartans, starring Burt Lancaster. Most recently, he has turned to the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and Soviet Russia. Most of his books and many shorter pieces are available for Amazon's Kindle ebook reader. He lives and works in New Hampshire.
Top customer reviews
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He takes the reader all through South Vietnam and gives us a glimpse of military activities throughout the country at that early stage of US involvement there. He participates in a wide variety of exercises ranging from US Air Force to US Navy to US Army (conventional and Special Forces). In his time in southwest Asia, he managed to sample a wide variety of units. He also had quite a bit of interaction with the native peoples. His insight is truly fascinating. The characters he meets on his journey are too interesting to be fiction. People like this only come from real life. Meeting the advisors who were running the war prior to its escalation was a real treat to me.
As the author explains in his epilogue, his attitude and that of most of the advisors he met were very naive. That's part of the magic of this book. It's difficult to step back beyond hindsight and view things the way we did when we were young. Mr. Ford has managed to do it. This book is an important addition to Vietnam literature and military history in general. I enjoyed it a lot.
Like most thoughtful Americans, my opinions, feeling and prejudices about the Vietnam War have morphed a lot over the past 36 years. Presently, this book catches me right in the middle. The War provided much to be angry over but even more to be sad about. Truly, good intentions in the hands of fools (aren't we all) can be the cobblestones for the road to Hell. I hope this book will serve the folks who take George Santayanas famous comment to heart. However, I have seen in my lifetime the "best and the brightest" can be the biggest fools of all.
Very good job.
Ford's Vietnam isn't the one you generally read about. He loves the country and admires the Americans he meets in his travels. They in turn love their work, at least the men in the field do. But between the lines you can see that things will go terribly wrong with America's adventure in South Vietnam.
Belongs on the shelf of every student of the Vietnam War.