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The Best Books About The Vietnam War

“What are the best books about The Vietnam War?” We looked at 279 of the top Vietnam books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 34 titles, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Vietnam War” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 225+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 34 Best Vietnam War Books



34 .) 365 Days written by Ronald J. Glasser

	365 Days

Lists It Appears On:

  • Early Bird Books
  • Five Books
  • Goodreads

In this gripping account of the human cost of the Vietnam War, Ron Glasser offers an unparalleled description of the horror endured daily by those on the front lines. “The stories I have tried to tell here are true, ” says Glasser in his foreword. “Those that happened in Japan I was part of; the rest are from the boys I met. I would have liked to disbelieve some of them, and at first I did, but I was there long enough to hear the same stories again and again, and then to see part of it myself.” Assigned to Zama, an Army hospital in Japan in September 1968, Glasser arrived as a pediatrician in the U.S. Army Medical Corps to care for the children of officers and high-ranking government officials. The hospital’s main mission, however, was to support the war and care for the wounded. At Zama, an average of six to eight thousand patients were attended to per month, and the death and suffering were staggering. The soldiers counted their days by the length of their tour–one year, or 365 days–and they knew, down to the day, how much time they had left. Glasser tells their stories–of lives shockingly interrupted by the tragedies of war–with moving, humane eloquence.



33 .) America in Vietnam written by Guenter Lewy

	America in Vietnam

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chomsky List
  • Chomsky List
  • Wikipedia

An inside look at America’s most divisive war… our strategy, and tactics, our conduct, our ‘guilt’ … using documents never before open to public scrutiny



32 .) Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans written by Wallace Terry

	Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • NY Times

“Simply the most powerful and moving book that has emerged on this topic.” UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL The national bestseller that tells the truth of about Vietnam from the black soldiers’ perspective. An oral history unlike any other, BLOODS features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off in disproportionate numbers and the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, BLOODS is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective.



31 .) Born on the Fourth of July written by Ron Kovic

	Born on the Fourth of July

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NY Times
  • Wikipedia

“A great, courageous fellow, a man of deep moral convictions and an uncompromising disposition.”—John Kerry on Ron Kovic “As relevant as ever, this book is an education. Ron is a true American, and his great heart and hard-won wisdom shine through these pages.” —Oliver Stone, filmmaker “Born on the Fourth of July brings back the era of the Vietnam War at a time when the Establishment is trying to make the nation forget what they call the “Vietnam syndrome.” Ron Kovic’s memoir is written with poetic passion and grips your attention from the very first page to the last.



30 .) Close Quarters written by Larry Heinemann

	Close Quarters

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net

From the moment his first novel was published, Larry Heinemann joined the ranks of the great chroniclers of the Vietnam conflict–Philip Caputo, Tim O’Brien, and Gustav Hasford.In the stripped-down, unsullied patois of an ordinary soldier, draftee Philip Dosier tells the story of his war. Straight from high school, too young to vote or buy himself a drink, he enters a world of mud and heat, blood and body counts, ambushes and firefights. It is here that he embarks on the brutal downward path to wisdom that awaits every soldier. In the tradition of Naked and the Dead and The Thin Red Line, Close Quarters is the harrowing story of how a decent kid from Chicago endures an extraordinary trial– and returns profoundly altered to a world on the threshold of change.



29 .) Dirty Work written by Larry Brown

	Dirty Work

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net

Dirty Work is the story of two men, strangers—one white, the other black. Both were born and raised in Mississippi. Both fought in Vietnam. Both were gravely wounded. Now, twenty-two years later, the two men lie in adjacent beds in a VA hospital.Over the course of a day and a night, Walter James and Braiden Chaney talk of memories, of passions, of fate. With great vision, humor, and courage, Brown writes mostly about love in a story about the waste of war.



28 .) Dog Soldiers written by Robert Stone

	Dog Soldiers

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net

In Saigon during the waning days of the Vietnam War, a small-time journalist named John Converse thinks he’ll find action – and profit – by getting involved in a big-time drug deal. But back in the States, things go horribly wrong for him. Dog Soldiers perfectly captures the underground mood of America in the 1970s, when amateur drug dealers and hippies encountered profiteering cops and professional killers – and the price of survival was dangerously high.



27 .) Going After Cacciato written by Tim O’Brien

	Going After Cacciato

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Softonic

Going After Cacciato captures the peculiar mixture of horror and hallucination that marked this strangest of wars. In a blend of reality and fantasy, this novel tells the story of a young soldier who one day lays down his rifle and sets off on a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris. In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing from and meeting the demands of battle, Going After Cacciato stands as much more than just a great war novel. Ultimately it’s about the forces of fear and heroism that do battle in the hearts of us all.



26 .) Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu written by Bernard B. Fall

	Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads
  • Softonic

From the acclaimed scholar and reporter, a thorough and revealing account of the historic turning point in Vietnam’s long struggle–the 1954 battle for Dien Bien Phu Like Gettysburg, Stalingrad, Midway, and Tet, the battle at Dien Bien Phu–a strategic attack launched by France against the Vietnamese in 1954 after eight long years of war–marked a historic turning point. By the end of the 56-day siege, a determined Viet Minh guerrilla force had destroyed a large, tactical French colonial army in the heart of Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese victory would not only end French occupation of Indochina and offer a sobering premonition of the U.S.’s future military defeat in the region, but would also provide a new model of modern warfare on which size and sophistication didn’t always dictate victory. Before his death in Vietnam in 1967, Bernard Fall, a critically acclaimed scholar and reporter, drew upon declassified documents from the French Defense Ministry and interviews with thousands of surviving French and Vietnamese soldiers to weave a compelling account of the key battle of Dien Bien Phu.



25 .) Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam written by Lynda Van Devanter

	Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net

Lynda Van Devanter was the girl next door, the cheerleader who went to Catholic schools, enjoyed sports, and got along well with her four sisters and parents. After high school she attended nursing school and then did something that would shatter her secure world for the rest of her life: in 1969, she joined the army and was shipped to Vietnam. When she arrived in Vietnam her idealistic view of the war vanished quickly. She worked long and arduous hours in cramped, ill-equipped, understaffed operating rooms. She saw friends die. Witnessing a war close-up, operating on soldiers and civilians whose injuries were catastrophic, she found the very foundations of her thinking changing daily. After one traumatic year, she came home, a Vietnam veteran. Coming home was nearly as devastating as the time she spent in Asia. Nothing was the same — including Lynda herself. Viewed by many as a murderer instead of a healer, she felt isolated and angry. The anger turned to depression; like many other Vietnam veterans she suffered from delayed stress syndrome. Working in hospitals brought back chilling scenes of hopelessly wounded soldiers. A marriage ended in divorce. The war that was fought physically halfway around the world had become a personal, internal battle.Home before Morning is the story of a woman whose courage, stamina, and personal history make this a compelling autobiography. It is also the saga of others who went to war to aid the wounded and came back wounded — physically and emotionally — themselves. And, it is the true story of one person’s triumphs: her understanding of, and coming to terms with, her destiny.



24 .) In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam written by Robert S. McNamara

	In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chomsky List
  • Goodreads
  • Signature Reads

McNamara’s controversial book tells the inside and personal story of America’s descent into Vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written.



23 .) Street Without Joy: Indochina at War, 1946-54 written by Bernard Fall

	Street Without Joy: Indochina at War, 1946-54

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • History Net
  • Wikipedia

This classic account of the French War in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia



22 .) The 13th Valley written by John M. Del Vecchio

	The 13th Valley

Lists It Appears On:

  • Early Bird Books
  • Goodreads
  • Softonic



21 .) The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction on the War written by Stewart O’Nan

	The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction on the War

Lists It Appears On:

  • Chomsky List
  • Signature Reads
  • The Culture Trip

An extraordinary selection of the finest and best-known art from the American war in Vietnam, from Tim O’Brien to Marvin Gaye, from mainstream bestsellers to radical poetry. This authoritative and accessible volume includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, photography, and popular song lyrics from the Vietnam War era, covering a breadth of experiences and perspectives. Also included are incisive reader’s questions–useful for educators and book clubs–in a volume that makes an essential contribution to a wider understanding of the Vietnam War. An indispensable and provocative read for anyone who wants to know more about the war that changed the face of late-twentieth-century America.



20 .) What It is Like to Go to War written by Karl Marlantes

	What It is Like to Go to War

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads
  • Softonic

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Matterhorn, this is a powerful nonfiction book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for war.War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion and literature — which also helped bring them home. In a compelling narrative, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination and his readings — from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. He talks frankly about how he is haunted by the face of the young North Vietnamese soldier he killed at close quarters and how he finally finds a way to make peace with his past. Marlantes discusses the daily contradictions that warriors face in the grind of war, where each battle requires them to take life or spare life, and where they enter a state he likens to the fervor of religious ecstasy.Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as a classic of war literature, What It Is Like To Go To War is set to become required reading for anyone — soldier or civilian — interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.



19 .) Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam written by Andrew X. Pham

	Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wanderlust Storytellers
  • Words Without Borders

Catfish and Mandala is the story of an American odyssey—a solo bicycle voyage around the Pacific Rim to Vietnam—made by a young Vietnamese-American man in pursuit of both his adopted homeland and his forsaken fatherland. Andrew X. Pham was born in Vietnam and raised in California. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as “boat people.” Following the suicide of his sister, Pham quit his job, sold all of his possessions, and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert, around a thousand-mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds “nothing familiar in the bombed-out darkness.” In Vietnam, he’s taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese he has the stamina to complete his journey (“Only Westerners can do it”); and in the United States he’s considered anything but American. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and an eye-opening sense of adventure, Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.



18 .) The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War written by Denise Chong

	The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph, and the Vietnam War

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Goodreads
  • Signature Reads
  • The Culture Trip

On June 8, 1972, nine-year-old Kim Phuc, severely burned by napalm, ran from her blazing village in South Vietnam and into the eye of history. Her photograph – one of the most unforgettable images of the twentieth century – was seen around the world and helped turn public opinion against the Vietnam War. This book is the story of how that photograph came to be – and the story of what happened to that girl after the camera shutter closed. Award-winning biographer Denise Chong’s portrait of Kim Phuc – who eventually defected to Canada and is now a UNESCO spokesperson – is a rare look at the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese point-of-view and one of the only books to describe everyday life in the wake of this war and to probe its lingering effects on all its participants.



17 .) The Short-Timers written by Gustav Hasford

	The Short-Timers

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Softonic

This novel was the source text of Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”. It follows the career of the sardonic narrator from the organized sadism of Marine basic training to an assignment as a combat reporter in Vietnam to his experiences as a platoon commander after the Tet offensive, portraying the descent into barbarism that marked America’s intervention in Vietnam.



16 .) They Marched Into Sunlight written by David Maraniss

	They Marched Into Sunlight

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Huffington Post
  • Wikipedia

Here is the epic story of Vietnam and the sixties told through the events of a few gripping, passionate days of war and peace in October 1967. They Marched Into Sunlight brings that tumultuous time back to life while exploring questions about the meaning of dissent and the official manipulation of truth, issues as relevant today as they were decades ago. In a seamless narrative, Maraniss weaves together the stories of three very different worlds: the death and heroism of soldiers in Vietnam, the anger and anxiety of antiwar students back home, and the confusion and obfuscating behavior of officials in Washington. To understand what happens to the people in these interconnected stories is to understand America’s anguish. Based on thousands of primary documents and 180 on-the-record interviews, the book describes the battles that evoked cultural and political conflicts that still reverberate.



15 .) Vietnam: A History written by Stanley Karnow

	Vietnam: A History

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Depository
  • Chomsky List
  • Goodreads
  • NY Times

This monumental narrative clarifies, analyzes, and demystifies the tragic ordeal of the Vietnam war. Free of ideological bias, profound in its undertsanding, and compassionate in its human portrayals, it is filled with fresh revelations drawn from secret documents and from exclusive interviews with participants-French, American, Vietnamese, Chinese: diplomats, military commanders, high government officials, journalists, nurses, workers, and soldiers. Originally published a companion to the Emmy-winning PBS series, Karnow’s defining book is a precursor to Ken Burns’s ten-part forthcoming documentary series, The Vietnam War. Vietnam: A History puts events and decisions into such sharp focus that we come to understand – and make peace with – a convulsive epoch of our recent history.



14 .) Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam written by Frances FitzGerald

	Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Explore The Archive
  • Goodreads
  • Quintessential Collection
  • Wikipedia

Frances FitzGerald’s landmark history of Vietnam and the Vietnam War, “A compassionate and penetrating account of the collision of two societies that remain untranslatable to one another.” (New York Times Book Review) This magisterial work, based on Frances FitzGerald’s many years of research and travels, takes us inside the history of Vietnam–the traditional, ancestor-worshiping villages, the conflicts between Communists and anti-Communists, Catholics and Buddhists, generals and monks, the disruption created by French colonialism, and America’s ill-fated intervention–and reveals the country as seen through Vietnamese eyes. Originally published in 1972, FIRE IN THE LAKE was the first history of Vietnam written by an American, and subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Book Award. With a clarity and insight unrivaled by any author before it or since, Frances FitzGerald illustrates how America utterly and tragically misinterpreted the realities of Vietnam.



13 .) Chickenhawk written by Robert Mason

	Chickenhawk

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Book Depository
  • Early Bird Books
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Wikipedia

A true story from the battlefield that faithfully portrays the horror, the madness, and the trauma of the Vietnam War More than half a million copies of Chickenhawk have been sold since it was first published in 1983. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death—the extreme emotions of a “chickenhawk” in constant danger.



12 .) The Best and the Brightest written by David Halberstam

	The Best and the Brightest

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Book Riot
  • Explore The Archive
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Wikipedia

The Best and the Brightest is David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy. Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam and why did it lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It’s an American classic.



11 .) The Quiet American written by Graham Greene

	The Quiet American

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Softonic
  • Wanderlust Storytellers

Graham Greene’s classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam “I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused,” Graham Greene’s narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous “Quiet American” of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas. As young Pyle’s well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler’s motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler’s beautiful Vietnamese mistress. Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.



10 .) The Sympathizer written by Viet Thang Nguyen

	The Sympathizer

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • Huffington Post
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wanderlust Storytellers
  • Words Without Borders

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.



9 .) Fields of Fire written by James Webb

	Fields of Fire

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Explore The Archive
  • Five Books
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Softonic
  • Wanderlust Storytellers

Originally published in 1978, Webb’s classic novel of the Vietnam War follows three soldiers from different worlds who are plunged into a white-hot murderous realm of jungle warfare as it was fought by one Marine platoon in the An Hoa Basin in 1969. ‘They each had their reasons for being a soldier. They each had their illusions. Goodrich came from Harvard. Snake got the tattoo — Death Before Dishonor — before he got the uniform. And Hodges was haunted by the ghosts of family heroes. They had no way of knowing what awaited them. Nothing could have prepared them for the madness to come. And in the heat and horror of battle they took on new identities, took on each other, and were each reborn in fields of fire…. Fields of Fire is James Webb’s classic, searing novel of the Vietnam War, a novel of poetic power, razor-sharp observation, and agonizing human truths seen through the prism of nonstop combat. Weaving together a cast of vivid characters, Fields of Fire captures the journey of unformed men through a man-made hell — until each man finds his fate.’



8 .) Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War written by Karl Marlantes

	Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Huffington Post
  • Signature Reads
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wanderlust Storytellers

A big, powerful saga of men in combat, written over the course of thirty-five years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran. Intense, powerful, and compelling, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever. Written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature. A graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals.



7 .) A Rumor of War written by Philip Caputo

	A Rumor of War

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Explore The Archive
  • Five Books
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • NY Times
  • Quintessential Collection
  • The Culture Trip

The 40th-anniversary edition of the classic Vietnam memoir—featured in the PBS documentary series The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick—with a new foreword by Kevin Powers. In March of 1965, Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Danang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history’s ugliest wars, he returned home—physically whole but emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism forever gone. A Rumor of War is far more than one soldier’s story. Upon its publication in 1977, it shattered America’s indifference to the fate of the men sent to fight in the jungles of Vietnam.



6 .) Dispatches written by Michael Herr

	Dispatches

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Book Depository
  • Book Depository
  • Explore The Archive
  • Goodreads
  • Quintessential Collection
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wikipedia

Written on the front lines in Vietnam, Dispatches became an immediate classic of war reportage when it was published in 1977. From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time. Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.



5 .) The Sorrow of War written by Bao Ninh

	The Sorrow of War

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Explore The Archive
  • Five Books
  • Goodreads
  • Softonic
  • The Culture Trip
  • The Culture Trip
  • Words Without Borders

Bao Ninh, a former North Vietnamese soldier, provides a strikingly honest look at how the Vietnam War forever changed his life, his country, and the people who live there. Originally published against government wishes in Vietnam because of its non-heroic, non-ideological tone, The Sorrow of War has won worldwide acclaim and become an international bestseller



4 .) When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace written by Le Ly Hayslip with Jay Wurts

	When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace

Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Signature Reads
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wanderlust Storytellers
  • Wikipedia
  • Words Without Borders

It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. This book recounts the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down in Vietnam.



3 .) A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam written by Neil Sheehan

	A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Book Depository
  • Explore The Archive
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • NY Times
  • Quintessential Collection
  • Signature Reads
  • Wikipedia

This passionate, epic account of the Vietnam War centres on Lt Col John Paul Vann, whose story illuminates America’s failures & disillusionment in SE Asia. A field adviser to the army when US involvement was just beginning, he quickly became appalled at the corruption of the S. Vietnamese regime, their incompetence in fighting the Communists & their brutal alienation of their own people. Finding his superiors too blinded by political lies to understand the war was being thrown away, he secretly briefed reporters on what was really happening. One of those reporters was Neil Sheehan.–Amazon (edited) Neil Sheehan was a Vietnam War correspondent for United Press International & the NY Times & won a number of awards for reporting. In 1971 he obtained the Pentagon Papers, which brought the Times the Pulitzer gold medal for meritorious public service. A Bright Shining Lie won the National Book Award & the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction. He lives in Washington DC. Maps The funeral Going to war Antecedents to a confrontation The Battle of Ap Bac Taking on the system Antecedents to the man A second time around John Vann stays Acknowledgments Interviews Documents Source Notes Bibliography Index About the Author



2 .) We Were Soldiers Once…and Young written by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway

	We Were Soldiers Once…and Young

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Book Depository
  • Book Riot
  • Early Bird Books
  • Explore The Archive
  • Goodreads
  • NY Times
  • Signature Reads
  • Wikipedia

Each year, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps selects one book that he believes is both relevant and timeless for reading by all Marines. The Commandant’s choice for 1993 was We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young. In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was chopped to pieces. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. How these men persevered–sacrificed themselves for their comrades and never gave up–makes a vivid portrait of war at its most inspiring and devastating. General Moore and Joseph Galloway, the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting, have interviewed hundreds of men who fought there, including the North Vietnamese commanders. This devastating account rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles to present a picture of men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have found unimaginable only a few hours earlier. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor.



1 .) The Things They Carried written by Tim O’ Brien

	The Things They Carried

Lists It Appears On:

  • About Great Books
  • Early Bird Books
  • Explore The Archive
  • Five Books
  • Goodreads
  • History Net
  • Huffington Post
  • Quintessential Collection
  • Softonic
  • The Culture Trip
  • Wikipedia

In 1979, Tim O’Brien’s Going After Cacciato – a novel about the Vietnam War – won the National Book Award. In this, his second work of fiction about Vietnam, O’Brien’s unique artistic vision is again clearly demonstrated. Neither a novel nor a short story collection, it is an arc of fictional episodes, taking place in the childhoods of its characters, in the jungles of Vietnam and back home in America two decades later.




The 225+ Additional Best Books About The Vietnam War



#BooksAuthorsLists
351968Joe HaldemanEarly Bird Books
Goodreads
36
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
 History Net
Wikipedia
37A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its AftermathTruong Nhu TangSignature Reads
The Culture Trip
38
America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975
 Chomsky List
History Net
39
American Power and the New Mandarins
 Chomsky List
Wikipedia
40Better Times Than TheseWinston GroomGoodreads
Softonic
41Dereliction of Duty Book Depository
Wikipedia
42Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam VetLewis B. Puller Jr.Goodreads
History Net
43Gardens Of StoneNicholas ProffittGoodreads
Softonic
44Huế 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in VietnamMark BowdenBook Depository
Goodreads
45If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me HomeTim O’BrienGoodreads
History Net
46In CountryBobbie Ann MasonGoodreads
History Net
47In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost WarTobias WolffBook Riot
History Net
48In the Lake of the WoodsTim O’BrienGoodreads
Softonic
49Inside Out and Back Again Wanderlust Storytellers
Words Without Borders
50Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in VietnamNick TurseBook Depository
Book Riot
51Meditations in GreenStephen WrightGoodreads
History Net
52Monkey BridgeLan CaoGoodreads
Words Without Borders
53My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its AftermathSeymour M. HershChomsky List
Goodreads
54Nuremberg and Vietnam Chomsky List
Wikipedia
55Paco’s StoryLarry HeinemannGoodreads
History Net
56Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975Milton J. BatesGoodreads
NY Times
57Sand in the windRobert RothGoodreads
Softonic
58Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon PapersDaniel EllsbergBook Depository
Goodreads
59Steel My Soldiers’ Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, VietnamDavid H. HackworthGoodreads
Softonic
60
Such A Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961–63
 Softonic
Words Without Borders
61Survivor Love Thy EnemyJames DennisonGoodreads
Softonic
62Tet! The Turning Point In The Vietnam WarDon OberdorferChomsky List
Goodreads
63The Best We Could Do Wanderlust Storytellers
Words Without Borders
64The Lotus EatersTatjana SoliGoodreads
Softonic
65The Nightingale’s SongRobert TimbergGoodreads
Wikipedia
66The Vietnam War: An Interactive Modern History AdventureMichael BurganBook Riot
Wanderlust Storytellers
67Tree of SmokeDenis JohnsonGoodreads
Softonic
68Vietnam Inc. Chomsky List
Wikipedia
69Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day WarMichael MaclearGoodreads
The Culture Trip
70Where the Ashes Are: The Odyssey of a Vietnamese FamilyNguyen Qui DucThe Culture Trip
Words Without Borders
7112, 20 & 5 Early Bird Books
72A Hard Place: A Sergeant’s TaleJacamo PetersonGoodreads
73A Journey of Body and SoulTrach Ba VuBook Riot
74A Prayer for Owen MeanyJohn IrvingGoodreads
75
A Sense of Duty: Our Journey from Vietnam to America
 Words Without Borders
76A Vietnam War Reader: American and Vietnamese PerspectivesMichael H. HuntThe Culture Trip
77About Face: Odyssey Of An American WarriorDavid H. HackworthGoodreads
78Absolutely Nothing (Jason Steed #3)Mark A. CooperGoodreads
79After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in VietnamRonald H. SpectorGoodreads
80Against the Flood Words Without Borders
81Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest StatesJames C. ScottNot Even Past
82
Agent Orange – Collateral Damage in Viet Nam
 Chomsky List
83All the President’s MenBob Woodward and Carl BernsteinHuffington Post
84Altamont AugieRichard BaragerGoodreads
85AmaryllisCraig Crist-EvansGoodreads
86An Enormous Crime Softonic
87
An International History of the Vietnam War
 Chomsky List
88An Intimate History of KillingJoanna BourkeBook Riot
89
Anatomy of a crisis;: The Laotian crisis of 1960-1961
 Chomsky List
90
Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United States, and the Modern Historical Experience
 Chomsky List
91And a Hard Rain FellJohn KetwigGoodreads
92At War with Asia: Essays on Indochina Chomsky List
93
Atrocities in Vietnam: Myths and realities
 Chomsky List
94Behind the Red Mist Words Without Borders
95
Between Fact and Fiction: The Problem of Journalism
 Chomsky List
96Big Story Chomsky List
97Birds of Paradise Lost Words Without Borders
98
Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry
 Words Without Borders
99
BLOODS: BLACK VETERANS OF THE VIETNAM WAR: AN ORAL HISTORY
 History Net
100Boocoo Dinky Dow: My Short, Crazy Vietnam WarGrady C. MyersGoodreads
101Cat Shit One Wikipedia
102Charlie MikeLeonard B. ScottGoodreads
103
Conflict in Laos; the Politics of Neutralization
 Chomsky List
104ConvergenceDeborah MadarGoodreads
105
Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact & Propaganda
 Wikipedia
106Cover-up Chomsky List
107Cracker! The Best Dog in VietnamCynthia KadohataBook Riot
108Crossing The River Words Without Borders
109
Demonstration Elections: United States Staged Elections in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam and El Salvador
 Chomsky List
110Devil’s Guard Book Depository
111
Distant Road—Selected Poems of Nguyen Duy
 Words Without Borders
112Don’t Mean Nothing: Short Stories of VietnamSusan O’NeillGoodreads
113
Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas Dooley, 1927-1961
 Wikipedia
114Dumb Luck Words Without Borders
115
Ecological Consequences of the Second Indochina War
 Chomsky List
116Embers of War Wikipedia
117
Ending the Vietnam War: A History of America’s Involvement in and Extrication From the Vietnam War
 NY Times
118Enfer rouge mon amour Words Without Borders
119Fallen Never Forgotten Wikipedia
120FATAL LIGHT History Net
121
Father, Soldier, Son: Memoir of a Platoon Leader in Vietnam
 NY Times
122Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin OldsRobin OldsGoodreads
123Fire Base Illingworth: An Epic True Story of Remarkable Courage Against Staggering OddsPhilip KeithGoodreads
124Five Years to Freedom Softonic
125Flight of the Intruder (Jake Grafton #1)Stephen CoontsGoodreads
126Fourth and ForeverBert CarsonGoodreads
127From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War and Its AftermathPhilip MahonyGoodreads
128
From There to Here: Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra
 Not Even Past
129From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a Moral DissenterDavid T. DellingerGoodreads
130Goodbye Vietnam Early Bird Books
131Government and Revolution in Vietnam Chomsky List
132Guns Up!Johnnie M. ClarkGoodreads
133Hearts, Minds, and CoffeeKent HinckleyGoodreads
134
Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War
 Wikipedia
135Highways to a WarChristopher J. KochGoodreads
136Ho Chi Minh: A LifeWilliam J. DuikerGoodreads
137
Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned from Vietnam
 Wikipedia
138
Honor Bound: American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961 – 1973
 Mia Facts
139In the Mynah Bird’s Own Words Words Without Borders
140In The Name Of America Chomsky List
141
Informed Dissent: Three Generals and the Vietnam War
 Chomsky List
142
Intervention: How America Became Involved in Vietnam
 Chomsky List
143Into the Mouth of the Cat Wikipedia
144
JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power
 Chomsky List
145June 17, 1967: The Battle of XOM Bo IIDavid J. HearneGoodreads
146Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot Book Depository
147Lament of the Soldier’s Wife Words Without Borders
148Last Night I Dreamed Of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tramby Dang Thuy TramThe Culture Trip
149
Last Reflections on a War: Bernard B.Fall’s Last Comments on Vietnam
 Chomsky List
150
Lessons of the Vietnam War: A Critical Examination of School Texts
 Chomsky List
151Let the Great World SpinColum McCannGoodreads
152Listen, SlowlyThanhha AliBook Riot
153Little CricketJackie BrownBook Riot
154Lonely Planet Vietnam (Travel Guide) Wanderlust Storytellers
155Long Range Patrol Early Bird Books
156Low Level Hell Book Depository
157
Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam: The Unmaking of a President
 Chomsky List
158Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills Book Depository
159MonroeLisa B. ThompsonNot Even Past
160My Vietnam WarE.E. Doc MurdockGoodreads
161Nam-A-RamaPhillip JenningsGoodreads
162Nam: The Vietnam War in the Words of the Men and Women Who Fought ThereMark BakerGoodreads
163Night Sky with Exit Wounds Words Without Borders
164No Man’s Land Words Without Borders
165No Surrender Soldier Softonic
166Novel Without a NameDương Thu HươngGoodreads
167On the Frontlines of the Television War: A Legendary War Cameraman in VietnamYasutsune HirashikiBook Riot
168Once Upon a Mulberry FieldC.L. HoangGoodreads
169One to Count CadenceJames CrumleyGoodreads
170One Young SoldierGary DeRigneGoodreads
171Paradise of the Blind Words Without Borders
172
PATCHES OF FIRE: A STORY OF WAR AND REDEMPTION
 History Net
173Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All SidesChristian G. AppyGoodreads
174Patrol: An American Soldier in VietnamWalter Dean MyersBook Riot
175
Peace Denied: United States, Vietnam and the Paris Agreement
 Chomsky List
176
Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam
 Chomsky List
177Phase Line GreenNicholas WarrGoodreads
178
Planning A Tragedy: The Americanization of the War in Vietnam
 Chomsky List
179Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in CombatJames R. McDonoughGoodreads
180Platoon: Bravo Company Wikipedia
181Politics of Escalation in Vietnam Chomsky List
182
Red Brotherhood at War: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos since 1975
 Chomsky List
183Red Thread Words Without Borders
184Reporter Book Depository
185Reporting South-East Asia Chomsky List
186
Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture
 Chomsky List
187Riz Noir Words Without Borders
188Rolling Thunder (Wings of War, #1)Mark BerentGoodreads
189Rural pacification in Vietnam Chomsky List
190Saigon Early Bird Books
191Saigon: An Epic Novel of Vietnam Wanderlust Storytellers
192
Sir! No Sir! – The Suppressed Story of the GI Movement to End the War in Vietnam
 Chomsky List
193Slander Words Without Borders
194
Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War
 Chomsky List
195South Vietnam: Nation Under Stress Chomsky List
196
Spring Essence: The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong
 Words Without Borders
197Stolen Valor Wikipedia
198Sympathy For The Devil (Hanson #1)Kent AndersonGoodreads
199The 25 Year War Wikipedia
200The American Intellectual Elite Chomsky List
201The Barracks ThiefTobias WolffHuffington Post
202The Beauty of Humanity Movement Wanderlust Storytellers
203
The Bitter Heritage: Vietnam and American Democracy 1941-1966
 Chomsky List
204The Boat Words Without Borders
205The Book of Perceptions Words Without Borders
206The Book of Salt Words Without Borders
207The Cage (Abraham book) Wikipedia
208
The Cemetery of Chua Village and Other Stories
 Words Without Borders
209
The Dynamics Of Defeat: The Vietnam War In Hau Nghia Province
 Chomsky List
210The Fearless ManDonald PfarrerGoodreads
211The Fire DreamFranklin Allen LeibGoodreads
212The Fourteenth of SeptemberRita DragonetteGoodreads
213The Gangster We Are All Looking For Words Without Borders
214The Given WorldMarian PalaiaHuffington Post
215The Green Berets (book) Wikipedia
216
THE KILLING ZONE: MY LIFE IN THE VIETNAM WAR
 History Net
217The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family MemoirKao Kalia YangThe Culture Trip
218The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point’s Class of 1966Rick AtkinsonGoodreads
219The Lost Crusade: America in Vietnam Chomsky List
220The lost revolution Chomsky List
221The Lotus and the Storm Words Without Borders
222The March of Folly Wikipedia
223The Missing Man: Politics and the MIA Mia Facts
224The Names of the DeadStewart O’NanGoodreads
225The New Soldier Wikipedia
226The Odd Angry Shot (book) Wikipedia
227
The Old Man’s Trail: A Novel about the Vietcong
 Softonic
228
The Other Side of Heaven: Post-War Fiction by Vietnamese and American Writers
 Words Without Borders
229The Outside LandsHannah KohlerGoodreads
230
The Path to Vietnam: Origins of the American Commitment to Southeast Asia
 Chomsky List
231
The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam
 Book Depository
232The Pentagon Papers editedGeorge C. HerringBook Riot
233THE PHANTOM BLOOPER History Net
234
The Political Economy of Human Rights
 Wikipedia
235The Saigon Zoo: Vietnam’s Other War: Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n RollPete WhalonGoodreads
236The Spitting Image Wikipedia
237The Stars, the Earth, the River Words Without Borders
238The Tale of Kieu Words Without Borders
239The Tunnels of Cu Chi Book Depository
240The Ugly AmericanWilliam J. LedererGoodreads
241
The Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam
 Chomsky List
242The Uncle’s Story Softonic
243
The US Government & the Vietnam War: Executive & Legislative Roles, Part 2 1961-1964
 Chomsky List
244
The Vietnam Trauma in American Foreign Policy: 1945-75
 Chomsky List
245The Vietnam Wars Book Depository
246The WallEve Bunting; Illustrated by Ronald HimlerBook Riot
247The War Within (Wells book) Wikipedia
248
The Winter Soldier Investigation: An Inquiry into American War Crimes
 Chomsky List
249Thud Ridge (book) Wikipedia
250Tiger The Lurp DogKenn MillerGoodreads
251
To move a nation: The Politics of Foreign Policy in the Administration of John F. Kennedy
 Chomsky List
252Up CountryNelson DeMilleGoodreads
253
Viet Cong: The Organization and Techniques of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam
 Chomsky List
254Vietnam Book Depository
255Vietnam Diary Chomsky List
256Vietnam Veterans against the War Chomsky List
257Vietnam War Memorial Softonic
258
Vietnam, The First Five Years: An International Symposium
 Chomsky List
259
Vietnam: A Dragon Embattled. Volume 2
 Chomsky List
260Vietnam: A History in Documents Chomsky List
261Vietnam: The Australian War Wikipedia
262Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal Chomsky List
263Vietnam: The Origins of Revolution Wikipedia
264Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey Words Without Borders
265Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories Wanderlust Storytellers
266View From the Seventh Floor Chomsky List
267
Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air War
 Chomsky List
268
War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province
 Chomsky List
269War, Peace, and the Viet Cong Chomsky List
270We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of VietnamHarold G. MooreGoodreads
271Welcome to Vietnam (Echo Company, #1)Zack EmersonGoodreads
272
Well Done Those Men: Memoirs Of A Vietnam Veteran
 Book Depository
273What Doesn’t Kill Us Softonic
274When Broken Glass Floats Book Depository
275
When Governments Collide : Coercion and Diplomacy in the Vietnam Conflict, 1964-1968
 Chomsky List
276When Hell Was in Session Wikipedia
277When Thunder Rolled Book Depository
278Why Didn’t You Get Me Out? Softonic
279Year of the JungleSuzanne Collins.Book Riot


20 Best Fiction And Nonfiction History Books to Learn More About The Vietnam War Book Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
About Great Books Top 10 Books About the Vietnam War – About Great Books
Book Depository Vietnam War Books | Book Depository
Book Riot 27 Of The Top Vietnam War Books in Fiction and Non-Fiction
Chomsky List Chomsky’s Recommended Vietnam Books List
Early Bird Books 10 Unforgettable Vietnam War Books
Explore The Archive 9 Fascinating Vietnam War Books
Five Books The Best Books on The Vietnam War
Goodreads Best Literature About the Vietnam War
History Net Top 30 Vietnam War Books
Huffington Post 7 Powerful Books That Explore the Legacy of the Vietnam War
Mia Facts Vietnam POW-MIA Books
Not Even Past Must Read Books on the Vietnam War
NY Times Readers Weighed in on the Best Books About the Vietnam War
Quintessential Collection 5 Best Books on the Vietnam War
Signature Reads Fractured Identity: The 12 Best Vietnam War Books
Softonic 26 Best books about the Vietnam war 2018
The Culture Trip From All Perspectives: The Best Books About The Vietnam War
Wanderlust Storytellers The Ultimate 2018 List of Best Vietnam Books to Read!
Wikipedia Category:Vietnam War books
Words Without Borders Eight Writers Share Their Must-Read Books from Vietnam

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