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Vietnam: The Definitive Oral History Told from All Sides Paperback – February 1, 2008
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"Defintive, profound and utterly relevant" Daily Telegraph "The most fascinating collection of memories - some of them extremely painful - that I have read in a long time" Scottish Sunday Herald "No conventional account could begin to evoke the raw reality of Vietnam as vividly as this ambitious oral history" Scotsman "An exemplary oral history ... profoundly moving as well as informative" BBC History
About the Author
Christian G. Appy holds a Ph.D. in American civilisation and has taught at both Harvard and MIT, where he was an associate professor of history. He is the author of Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam and the editor of the series Culture, Politics, and the Cold War. He currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
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Top Customer Reviews
Having just spent two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia this April, I saw everywhere the consequences of the aggression America took against such a small country. About two million Vietnamese were killed in the war, half of them soldiers, the other half innocent non-combatants. 58,000 American military personnel lost their lives in that enormous mistaken attempt to stop Communism from being adopted in that country. The US bombing in Cambodia destabilized the government there and gave rise to Pol Pot's murderous Khmer Rogue resulting in the deaths of about 2 million Cambodians.
Drawing on 350 interviews the author produced a superb record of the complex events. He provided the lucid connecting discussion to link the interviews. I was a university student during the start of the hostilities; most of us students opposed the war from the outset and demonstrated against it whenever we could. During one such demonstration at Kent State University, on 4 May 1970, 43 years ago, 4 university students demonstrating against the widening of the Vietnam War by bombing in Cambodia, that Nixon had begun secretly on his own initiative, were shot dead by the Ohio National Guard and seven more were wounded when these soldiers fired into the non-violent crowd on campus. Afterwards I went with the Kent State students to protest at the White House the deaths and injuries of the non-violent student demonstrators.. The Kent State shootings are well described in Appy's oral history that includes an interview with one of the students who was shot by the soldiers. That event brought the war close to home.
Appy's interview with Daniel Ellsberg and the story of the Pentagon Papers is superbly told linking it to Watergate. He ends his history fittingly at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to mark the sacrifice of 58,000 American service men and women. His final interview is with Duong Tuong who fought against the USA but visited the Wall, and left behind a poem in English that gives his personal reason for it: "...because love is stronger than enmity and can bridge oceans, I come."
Dr John Bank, London, England