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Vietnam: A View from the Front Lines (General Military)

Vietnam: A View from the Front Lines (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Wiest
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A smartly composed, affecting memory album of the draftees and volunteers whose service and sacrifice for so long went unacknowledged. --Kirkus

I feel it is very much worth reading. --Aeroscale

This is without doubt one of the best books I have read on the Vietnam War. I would certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the subject. --Military Modelcraft International

Product Description

Tracing the American experience of the Vietnam War from its popular inception to its morale-crushing and bitter conclusion, Vietnam: A View from the Frontlines is a grunt's-eye view of the conflict - from the steaming rice paddies and swamps of the Mekong Delta, to the triple-canopy rainforest of the Central Highlands, to the forlorn Marine bases that dotted the DMZ. Like Karl Marlantes' ground-breaking novel Mattherhorn, this book will change the way we think about Vietnam.

Told in the uncompromising, no-holds barred language of the soldiers themselves, the stories contained within this book detail everything from heroism to battle, and from helicopters hitting the LZs to the impact on soldiers’ loved ones at home. It is a true and grippingly accurate portrait of the American war in Vietnam through the eyes of the soldiers, medics, corpsmen, nurses and widows who experienced it. The book is based on rich collections housed at the Center of Military History and at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1116 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849089728
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,340 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 26 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very informative regarding what the war was about got a bit confusing with the number of characters to keep tabs on but all in all an excellent read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Did not realise the horrors 27 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was around during Vietnam but did not know the nature of the combat or the impacts on soldiers' lives and their families. Riveting read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective 25 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A hard look at this war, but interesting because its told personally from a view of ordinary draftees.
Highlly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, but interesting and emotive 24 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good way to get across some really key personal aspects of the war. Very easy to read structure and it is good to get the before and after story to.
Maybe too close to the boys of `67, in style and content but overall very accessible.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what was the Vietnam War like for U.S. soldiers? 23 April 2013
By just Rob - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
what was it like to be a U.S. soldier in the Vietnam War?
chances are that this book is the closest i'll ever come to finding out. that's compelling.

Andrew Wiest (The Boys of '67, Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land) does a fine job of compiling and editing personal accounts that paint a picture of the war. the personal stories in Vietnam: A View from the Front Lines come from two collections of oral interviews. the stories of Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry were also the source for Wiest's "The Boys of '67". the remaining accounts come from The Oral History Project of the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University.

"Vietnam" is arranged into sections in the order that they were experienced by the soldiers.
in the words of the author: "Readers will be able to follow the soldiers and their families through the conflict, from before they were drafted, through training, through their first experiences of war, through combat, through hospitals, through funerals, to today."

each section is framed by the author's introduction. these introductions provide historical context that set the tone for the descriptions of events that follow. the information in the introductions is supported by a number of secondary sources for historical accuracy.

admittedly, i'm not a historian or a war buff. my primary interest in this book lies in the relating of personal experiences by those who lived them. i tend to be more interested in life's hardest times than the best times. my experience is that the hard times are where the most lessons are learned and where we come to know who and what we are at our core. Weist's "Vietnam" shines in this area.

my only difficulty with this book was that as i progressed through the sections, i didn't feel like i had a complete picture of any one soldier. then i decided to find and follow the soldiers who were included in the most sections. Anthony Goodrich's story spans the most sections (8 of 10) of any soldier in the book. i found this by doing a search on the Kindle edition.

reading the 8 entries for Anthony Goodrich really tied things together for me. i was completely absorbed as i followed Anthony's story from growing up in a military home all the way through to his life after the war. along the way reading of his being drafted, his training and deployment, and his combat experiences. these frank accounts were courageous in their own right. Anthony told of being scared, wetting his pants, vomiting, spending the night with the bodies of fallen soldiers, divvying the gear of Marines killed in action, following orders that didn't make sense, even making a deadly mistake that he believes cost the life of a fellow soldier. i've seen folks who wouldn't even admit to pressing an incorrect button on their computer keyboard.

Anthony's stories were so candid, so vivid. they made things as close to real for me as possible. i needed to read them together to really feel like i had the tiniest idea of what these soldiers went through. six stars hands down if this book included several "complete pictures" like Anthony's. the hardcover version does have an index that includes entries by soldier name. i think it's an essential feature to make it easy to read any soldier's segments together as one story.

definitely recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping personal accounts that make you feel the desperation 4 Jun 2013
By LD - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
These are stories of those who survived and those who did not. By the men telling their pre-war experiences and how Vietnam was such a shock, I could see why as much confusion and mixed feelings went through the minds of the soldiers as it did the folks back home. The wives' stories gave a larger picture and really helped you see how traumatic that rotation year was. The men's accounts verified that nothing in life really prepares you for mortal combat.

Some of these firefights with the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese are so vivid you can imagine yourself being there as an onlooker. The retelling of what they felt when they looked down and saw a missing limb are just heart breaking.

I really appreciated the comments about the culture shock that Americans experienced. Several of the soldiers that fought in the Ia Drang Valley with Lt. Col. Harold Moore (We were soldiers once...and young) have their stories told. If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it- or at least watch the movie.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Too Was A Great Generation 9 Jan 2014
By Jim R. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Our Vietnam Vets get very little credit for what they did for our country. WWII seemed to be remembered more often and they should be as well. However, this was jungle warfare and these vets (my parents generation) should not be forgotten.
Was the book the greatest? no. Were the stories at times captivating and make you feel like you were there in the moment? At times, yes.
I thought the author over-used the voice of the story tellers and for the reader's sake should have cleaned up the depictions for the reader's sake. For example there were some redneck interviews and for the reader to understand some of it in writing it was difficult to see in print. I had to read it two or three times before it made sense to me. That said, I fully understood the author's point in that he was quoting and was trying the best he could to keep the interviewees voice.

Overall this and other Vietnam books are all important reads. I heard the Matterhorn was good. I plan on reading that later this year.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great. 9 Sep 2013
By Mike2bravo - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was in boot camp and Vietnam with one marine in the book. Highly recommend.Must read it you just can't lose.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just started reading this and having a hard time to put it down. 16 Sep 2013
By Bill R. Cottrell - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm having a hard time in setting this book aside. Quite riveting! As a Field Medic in Vietnam 1966-1967, I can relate to many of this stories. Anxious to read more.
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