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"Intense and absorbing... If you buy only one book on the Vietnam War, this is the one you want." -Chicago Tribune Christian G. Appy's monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war's path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky ori "Intense and absorbing... If you buy only one book on the Vietnam War, this is the one you want." -Chicago Tribune Christian G. Appy's monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war's path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975. Sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, they allow us to see and feel what this war meant to people literally on all sides: Americans and Vietnamese, generals and grunts, policymakers and protesters, guerrillas and CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people. By turns harrowing, inspiring, and revelatory, Patriots is not a chronicle of facts and figures but a vivid human history of the war. "A gem of a book, as informative and compulsively readable as it is timely." -The Washington Post Book World


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"Intense and absorbing... If you buy only one book on the Vietnam War, this is the one you want." -Chicago Tribune Christian G. Appy's monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war's path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky ori "Intense and absorbing... If you buy only one book on the Vietnam War, this is the one you want." -Chicago Tribune Christian G. Appy's monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war's path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975. Sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotional, they allow us to see and feel what this war meant to people literally on all sides: Americans and Vietnamese, generals and grunts, policymakers and protesters, guerrillas and CIA operatives, pilots and doctors, artists and journalists, and a variety of ordinary citizens whose lives were swept up in a cataclysm that killed three million people. By turns harrowing, inspiring, and revelatory, Patriots is not a chronicle of facts and figures but a vivid human history of the war. "A gem of a book, as informative and compulsively readable as it is timely." -The Washington Post Book World

30 review for Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tam

    This book is really heavy, for it contains not only accounts of the war, but it contains the views of the war. And it is views that we struggle the most to understand, to agree or disagree, to sympathize or to feel indifferent, to admire or to hate. Throughout the book, I have all kinds of emotions. What surprises me is that I am very easy to be moved, but difficult to be angered. This book perhaps has that kind of effect on me, I accept that we're so diverse and different as humans. I appreciate This book is really heavy, for it contains not only accounts of the war, but it contains the views of the war. And it is views that we struggle the most to understand, to agree or disagree, to sympathize or to feel indifferent, to admire or to hate. Throughout the book, I have all kinds of emotions. What surprises me is that I am very easy to be moved, but difficult to be angered. This book perhaps has that kind of effect on me, I accept that we're so diverse and different as humans. I appreciate how the author incorporates stories from all kinds of people to the war, on both sides, of course. There are Vietnamese and Americans, there are North and South Vietnam, there are pro and antiwar. Not so perfectly balanced, but the book to me seems to be a miniature of life, with voices from everywhere. A great part of the book tries to show how the war affected the whole society in US, not just the people directly engaged in combats. Perhaps not all is so-called "traumatized" by the past, but the war certainly leaves its mark on everyone. I am aware of the lack and limit of sources on the Vietnam's side, but all stories are valuable anyway. Still, there is a certain reluctance on the Vietnam's side, as people do not so easily pour out their hearts and thoughts, compared to what I sometimes find in the accounts of some Americans. It's culture, maybe, or it's political, probably, or both. What is so scary is that history seems to drift away. I don't want us to be obsessed by the past. But there are so many things, so many things to be learnt, to be felt, to be understood. And surely there are still so many things uncovered. Please read the past, please remember that we're rightful and unjust, we're amiable and monstrous, we're idealistic and disillusioned, please remember that right and wrong is so hard to draw a line, please accept who we are. Because only when we accept who we are can we move forward. Ignoring the past will only make us to return to the starting line, and learn everything, bitterly, all over again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Murphy

    I like oral histories of important periods of the past. I like that they are the assembled verbal recollections of individuals whose experiences reflect a part of the event. Accumulated, they form a comprehensive history. I like that their memories are honestly told and for that reason can be considered a truth, no matter if accounts sometimes differ. I've read some oral histories I thought were excellent records. Christian G. Appy's Patriots is perhaps the finest example I know of this method o I like oral histories of important periods of the past. I like that they are the assembled verbal recollections of individuals whose experiences reflect a part of the event. Accumulated, they form a comprehensive history. I like that their memories are honestly told and for that reason can be considered a truth, no matter if accounts sometimes differ. I've read some oral histories I thought were excellent records. Christian G. Appy's Patriots is perhaps the finest example I know of this method of history. Most oral histories tell only one side. Appy's approach, as his title indicates, is to tell the story "from all sides" and the result is epic, accomplished. He's interviewed every level of those who served during the Vietnam years, from military leaders and policymakers to people who saw the war as children. Former Viet Cong soldiers, underground operatives, and even porters along the Ho Chi Minh Trail are given as equal say by Appy as American GIs and ARVN soldiers who fought near their homes and families. The Vietnam Era was divisive in both Vietnamese and American societies, but especially for us. Those who think we should have prosecuted the war more aggressively and fought to win at any cost are heard as loudly as those who protested in the streets or went to Canada or Sweden. The testimonies of medical personnel, whether a doctor from the North who operated in Cambodian tunnels or an American nurse, are emotionally wrenching. One of the most poignant memories is that of an airline stewardess who flew the route between America and Saigon taking nervous soldiers from the world into the war and then back. Those who recorded the war, either as combat artists or journalists on the spot or novelists and poets reflecting later, are included. Told "from all sides," American and Vietnamese, what binds them together, as Appy saw from the start, is a common humanity and shared experience. The accounts are arranged chronologically from the 1940s to the defeat of the South in 1975. Even beyond, actually. A few who were children during the war speak of the legacy of those years growing up in America or Vietnam. Ultimately, this is a terribly sad book. Individuals holding every possible attitude toward the war are allowed to speak. However, most remember with regret. Appy himself provides the introductory material for each section. His treatment is that Vietnam was a tragedy, and that point of view flows through the book from the words of Ta Quang Thinh, a disabled North Vietnamese soldier who speaks early in the book from Hanoi to William Westmoreland who speaks near the end from Charleston, South Carolina. I've read a lot of books about Vietnam, but this long ribbon of voices taught me a lot I didn't know, taught me new ways to see.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yukio Nagato

    Absolutely one of the best books about Vietnam I've ever read and I've read quite a few. The first-person perspective came from every possible direction there is. I really enjoyed all the different and constantly changing insights into this tragic war. It's a hard book to put down and it will really help you understand this very complex conflict. It makes you wish you could go back to the near beginning of this conflict and change the course of history before this unnecessary war started. I'd re Absolutely one of the best books about Vietnam I've ever read and I've read quite a few. The first-person perspective came from every possible direction there is. I really enjoyed all the different and constantly changing insights into this tragic war. It's a hard book to put down and it will really help you understand this very complex conflict. It makes you wish you could go back to the near beginning of this conflict and change the course of history before this unnecessary war started. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's interested in the Vietnam War.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Vietnam is a country that was almost always at war, for the first 75 years of the 20th Century. They fought a French, a Japanese, and then another French occupation. Millions died before the American portion of the war began. As you may imagine, many Vietnamese saw the American prescence as another foreign occupation. America was still traumatized by the Communist takeover in China, and most Americans saw Vietnam as just another Communist domino. During the American portion of the Vietnam War, 3 Vietnam is a country that was almost always at war, for the first 75 years of the 20th Century. They fought a French, a Japanese, and then another French occupation. Millions died before the American portion of the war began. As you may imagine, many Vietnamese saw the American prescence as another foreign occupation. America was still traumatized by the Communist takeover in China, and most Americans saw Vietnam as just another Communist domino. During the American portion of the Vietnam War, 3 million people died. That included 58,000 American soldiers, 224,000 South Vietnamese troops, 1.1 million Communist troops, and civilians made up most of the remainder. In the United States, eight Americans burned themselves to death, to protest the war. Four protestors were shot dead at Kent State. Three times as many American bombs were dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia than during the entire Second World War, and millions of acres of forest were destroyed by chemicals like Agent Orange. American soldiers had a very difficult time differentiating between the enemy and noncombatants. In 1968, American Soldiers killed 500 unarmed Vietnamese woman and children, during the My Lai Massacre. The Free-Fire Zone tactic consisted of Americans telling everyone to leave a given area. After a certain amount of time, anyone remaining was fair game. More than 5 million people were forcibly removed from their homes, due to such a tactic. The Phoenix Program allowed for the assasination of anyone blamed as being a Communist, and the program killed tens of thousands. The North Vietnamese certainly were not saints in the war either. One theme of this book is that dehumanization is a part of war. When dehumanization occurs, then horrible things can and are justified against the opposing side. For people who did not live during the height of the Cold War, the Vietnam War does not seem to make much sense at all. Hundreds of individuals were interviewed in this book. They were from both sides, and they were in quite a variety of different occupations. The one thing that most of them had in common was that they were just doing their job, even though they didn't always agree with it. Similar social, political, and ethical situations remain today. This book did a great job describing the many faces of the Vietnam War. The only thing that I did not like about it was that there was no censorship of language. Ex-veterans and hippies can use colorful words. Otherwise, I would have given this book a five.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Big John

    This book is essential to anyone who is interested in the Vietnam war, regardless of how much they know prior to reading it. Each section of the book is introduced with a few paragraphs about a certain aspect of the war or the time period that is covered in the next batch of interviews. Although they are brief, these sections are helpful in understanding the interviews themselves. I finished the book a few weeks ago and many of these stories are still very vivid in my mind. I marked many of the This book is essential to anyone who is interested in the Vietnam war, regardless of how much they know prior to reading it. Each section of the book is introduced with a few paragraphs about a certain aspect of the war or the time period that is covered in the next batch of interviews. Although they are brief, these sections are helpful in understanding the interviews themselves. I finished the book a few weeks ago and many of these stories are still very vivid in my mind. I marked many of the more noteworthy interviews to go back to in the future. A lot of these interviews are brief enough that they can be read in 5-10 minutes, which I feel is a real strength of the book. This book contains a remarkable range of people who were involved in the war, either directly or indirectly. Soldiers, officers, poets, refugees, nurses, doctors, USO show performers, protesters, riot police, civil rights activists, politicians, POWs, POW families, pilots, 1st generation Vietnamese immigrants to the US and more are given a chance to share their stories and it is truly fascinating. I have read many fiction and non-fiction books on the Vietnam war, my favorite being Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, but now that I have finished this book I hold it up as the true standard on the topic. I only have a few nitpicks with this book, but they are minor and did not diminish my opinion of the book. First, I was disappointed with General Westmoreland's interview towards the end of the book. I understand this is an oral history and it is up to the subjects and not the author/compiler to create the content of the interviews, but General Westmoreland's interview was so brief and basic that it felt like a major missed opportunity. I would have appreciated interviews with more of the international communities and forces involved in the war, particularly the Australians and New Zealanders. It would have been nice to hear from the French as well, given their role in the area prior to the American war. My other nitpick is that there was no mention of the "tunnel-rat" aspect of combat. I feel an interview with a soldier or marine who had to go through that harrowing ordeal, which in my limited knowledge appears to be unique in American combat history to this war, would have been fascinating. It is a remarkable feat to pack such nuance and depth into a book made up of generally brief monologues, and this book succeeds admirably. This is a thoughtful book that packs an emotional punch, while being highly educational and easily accessible. Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gbratss

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. One of the best historical accounts of a war I've ever read. In a unique format, Appy lifts the lid on the story of the Vietnam War from both sides of the conflict. He does this through intelligently selected first hand accounts from not only the top advisers and generals of the war, but also the common soldiers, doctors and nurses and children who bore the brunt of the wartime sacrifices. After completing the book, I was left with a sense of how wrong this war was and how little we are taught i One of the best historical accounts of a war I've ever read. In a unique format, Appy lifts the lid on the story of the Vietnam War from both sides of the conflict. He does this through intelligently selected first hand accounts from not only the top advisers and generals of the war, but also the common soldiers, doctors and nurses and children who bore the brunt of the wartime sacrifices. After completing the book, I was left with a sense of how wrong this war was and how little we are taught in school about one of America's biggest blunders. In the big picture, stopping the spread of communism and the adherence to the domino theory sounded like a admirable cause but once the tragic stories of the Vietnamese people are exposed, there is little justification for such a brutal war. And it truly was a brutal war. From the constant day and night bombings from the US Air force and Navy to the incentavized patrol mission of killing as many Vietnamese as possible, regardless if they were military or not, the war made many young, American soldiers do things and act in ways that horrify them to this day. From the "good war" that was World War II, we were taught to glorify war, love John Wayne, and never question gods purpose of spreading democracy. Over 10 years of conflict, the war soon turned massively unpopular for the civilians back home but also for the soldiers at the front. Pep talks were frequently needed, officers were beat up by their own soldiers, and 34% of soldiers were using heroin in 1970. When Nixon won the presidency in 1968, he had a two part strategy of building up SV army while reducing the number of American troops and also bombing Cambodia and Laos so they wouldn't harbor Vietcong. Overall a very interesting book that prepared me for my own trip through Vietnam.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    "From all sides" indeed! Patriots is a collection (some 600 pages long) of distilled interviews - there must be hundreds of them - with people who, in some manner, experienced the Vietnam War. There are American and Vietnamese soldiers, of course, but also nurses, doctors, medics, draft evaders, generals, politicians, anti-war activists, refugees... there is the child wounded in Vietnam and sent to the US to be treated and ultimately, to live; there is the wife of the Quaker man who burned himse "From all sides" indeed! Patriots is a collection (some 600 pages long) of distilled interviews - there must be hundreds of them - with people who, in some manner, experienced the Vietnam War. There are American and Vietnamese soldiers, of course, but also nurses, doctors, medics, draft evaders, generals, politicians, anti-war activists, refugees... there is the child wounded in Vietnam and sent to the US to be treated and ultimately, to live; there is the wife of the Quaker man who burned himself to death in front of the Pentagon to protest the war; there is General Westmoreland; there is a pair of brothers, one of whom served in Vietnam and one of whom went to Canada - and the story of how they remained close throughout it all; there is the artist "embedded" with North Vietnamese troops, charged with keeping up morale, who drew pictures using saliva mixed with dirt when he ran out of pencils; and there's the family split for the duration, with mom becoming a military doctor, dad serving in the North Vietnamese Army elsewhere, and children living in the countryside outside of Hanoi, to escape the bombing. There is even a stewardess who worked on the commercial planes that brought GIs to the war and home again. This book is almost too big to take in, but it is certainly an amazing piece of work and an important document.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shane Joubert

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Although learning in classes and seeing artifacts of the Vietnam teaches you about the conflict, often information is missing or only partially shown. In Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides by Christian G. Apply, perspectives from all walks of life are explored. This is perhaps my favorite aspect of the book, with it traveling from a ARVN perspective to that of an American nurse, or OSS advisors who met Ho Chi Minh before the formation of independent Viietnams. The book gave me o Although learning in classes and seeing artifacts of the Vietnam teaches you about the conflict, often information is missing or only partially shown. In Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides by Christian G. Apply, perspectives from all walks of life are explored. This is perhaps my favorite aspect of the book, with it traveling from a ARVN perspective to that of an American nurse, or OSS advisors who met Ho Chi Minh before the formation of independent Viietnams. The book gave me outlooks I never would have thought of otherwise, and introduced me to parts of the war I had never even considered. It also gave insight into many of the thoughts of major individuals, why they did what they did, and how the war changed them afterward. In an era where Vietnam is often skewed by groups such as Hollywood, I could not recommend this book more as a research into the players as well as the daily life of those participating in the Vietnam War.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Noah

    Patriots is hands-down the best book on the Vietnam War I have read. And I have read quite a few. Rather than being a work of literature, a nonfiction history book of politics and strategy, or a memoir, this is both a combination of all three categories and none of the three categories at the same time. Its vast scope of content is beyond any Vietnam War book I have read. It is a collection of interviews conducted by the author with people related to all aspects of the Vietnam War. South Vietnam Patriots is hands-down the best book on the Vietnam War I have read. And I have read quite a few. Rather than being a work of literature, a nonfiction history book of politics and strategy, or a memoir, this is both a combination of all three categories and none of the three categories at the same time. Its vast scope of content is beyond any Vietnam War book I have read. It is a collection of interviews conducted by the author with people related to all aspects of the Vietnam War. South Vietnamese veterans, Viet Cong guerillas, North Vietnamese doctors and diplomats, American draft-dodgers and politicians are just some of the people interviewed for the book. Christian Appy even interviewed Nikita Khrushchev's son, General Westmoreland, and General Giap! The memories of everyone from the lowliest infantryman to the highest ranking strategic commanders and politicians are recorded in this book. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a masterpiece. Definitely one of my favorite books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Rex

    Incredible primary source about the Vietnam War. Stories told from all sides - from the soldiers on both sides, to nurses, commoners, doctors, generals in the US (and Vietnam) and everything in-between. Amazing. If you've ever wanted a "full" perspective of what the war was (and was like) to everybody involved, this is your book. It is all first-hand accounts and the stories are amazing. From Vietcong using the tubing from downed-aircraft for blood-transfusions to women peasants filling in bomb- Incredible primary source about the Vietnam War. Stories told from all sides - from the soldiers on both sides, to nurses, commoners, doctors, generals in the US (and Vietnam) and everything in-between. Amazing. If you've ever wanted a "full" perspective of what the war was (and was like) to everybody involved, this is your book. It is all first-hand accounts and the stories are amazing. From Vietcong using the tubing from downed-aircraft for blood-transfusions to women peasants filling in bomb-craters with buckets along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to doctors making-up phony medical "problems" to help Americans avoid the draft - the stories are chilling, enlightening, uplifting, horrifying and heartbreaking all at once. Oh...and if you ever wanted to know why the US lost the war, this tells it all. The dedication of the Vietnamese to be truly independent is awe-inspiring. Only downside of the book is that it is long....BUT, it is well worth it, though. Don't be deterred.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Izmael Arkin

    I was looking for a book that would give me a strong understanding of the Vietnam war as a whole. I didn't think it was possible as this is such a complex war. Yet, this book was able to provide perspectives of the war from everyone from american soldiers, journalists, and mothers to Vietnamese citizens and soldiers. This book is very intense at times as can be expected. The author does a wonderful job of providing background information when necessary. If you are looking for a book to begin lea I was looking for a book that would give me a strong understanding of the Vietnam war as a whole. I didn't think it was possible as this is such a complex war. Yet, this book was able to provide perspectives of the war from everyone from american soldiers, journalists, and mothers to Vietnamese citizens and soldiers. This book is very intense at times as can be expected. The author does a wonderful job of providing background information when necessary. If you are looking for a book to begin learning about the Vietnam War this is an excellent book to start with. Though, it took me a few weeks to read because I had to often put it down because some of the narratives were so emotional and intense.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laverne

    Although the Vietnam war was going on in my lifetime, I didn't know or really understand what it was all about. I didn't understand why our servicemen and women were not treated better when they came home. I didn't get what Jane Fonda thought she was doing. I just didn't know why any of it was as it was. This book has so many different "essays" from people who were there it becomes a little clearer but I also feel the need to understand more about the history of Vietnam. Then will probably find Although the Vietnam war was going on in my lifetime, I didn't know or really understand what it was all about. I didn't understand why our servicemen and women were not treated better when they came home. I didn't get what Jane Fonda thought she was doing. I just didn't know why any of it was as it was. This book has so many different "essays" from people who were there it becomes a little clearer but I also feel the need to understand more about the history of Vietnam. Then will probably find I need to try to figure out what our politicians where thinking. I highly recommend this book but I really think it is only the beginning to get some understanding. Views are presented from ALL sides.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ming Wei

    Very eye opening book, gives consideration to both sides of the conflict in its wordings. Gives a ground-level view on what war means to the average person, plenty of stories from those embedded in the conflicts, on both sides, I like how the book crosses through the years from the 1940s to the 1970s, I like how different opinions and different views are absorbed into the book. Reading this book gives you a great understanding of the Vietnam war. For people interested in the Vietnam War, that re Very eye opening book, gives consideration to both sides of the conflict in its wordings. Gives a ground-level view on what war means to the average person, plenty of stories from those embedded in the conflicts, on both sides, I like how the book crosses through the years from the 1940s to the 1970s, I like how different opinions and different views are absorbed into the book. Reading this book gives you a great understanding of the Vietnam war. For people interested in the Vietnam War, that read this type of book, this would be a great supplement to other books about Vietnam War that you read. Well written, well documented. Did not find any editorial faults. Would be a good source of information for History Students at College or University.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Completely unbiased. I learned so much about the Vietnam war; a lot that I'm not so sure I wanted to know. But mostly, I learned that the majority of people knew next to nothing about it when it was actually happening, and people know even less now. This is a part of our country's history that most people try to ignore but this book made me realize that this was actually one of the most important eras of America. It's a long, hard read but it allows for a complete understanding of what was going Completely unbiased. I learned so much about the Vietnam war; a lot that I'm not so sure I wanted to know. But mostly, I learned that the majority of people knew next to nothing about it when it was actually happening, and people know even less now. This is a part of our country's history that most people try to ignore but this book made me realize that this was actually one of the most important eras of America. It's a long, hard read but it allows for a complete understanding of what was going on worldwide all those years ago.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Todd Kruse

    I purchased this book at one of my favorite book stores - Hill Avenue Books in Spirit Lake, Iowa - probably around 2006 and read it immediately. I was reminded of this book while teaching my World Politics college course last night so wanted to add it to my Read list. Since my two godfathers served in the US Marines in Vietnam reading this book was personally important to me but beyond that it is just an excellent book that is well written, informative, and thought provoking. Americans should re I purchased this book at one of my favorite book stores - Hill Avenue Books in Spirit Lake, Iowa - probably around 2006 and read it immediately. I was reminded of this book while teaching my World Politics college course last night so wanted to add it to my Read list. Since my two godfathers served in the US Marines in Vietnam reading this book was personally important to me but beyond that it is just an excellent book that is well written, informative, and thought provoking. Americans should reduce their average of 7 hours per day of watching TV so they have time to read this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I read this while watching Ken Burns' documentary on the war and it was the perfect companion. What a heavy, important project with such scope. Appy interviewed infantrymen and generals, protestors and politicians, poets, artists, draft dodgers and ordinary citizens of both countries whose lives were affected by the decades-long conflict. I have a much better understanding of what went on in Vietnam after immersing myself in the voices of the "patriots" who lived through it, and I found the oral I read this while watching Ken Burns' documentary on the war and it was the perfect companion. What a heavy, important project with such scope. Appy interviewed infantrymen and generals, protestors and politicians, poets, artists, draft dodgers and ordinary citizens of both countries whose lives were affected by the decades-long conflict. I have a much better understanding of what went on in Vietnam after immersing myself in the voices of the "patriots" who lived through it, and I found the oral history format fascinating in all its rawness. Really well done.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Whelan

    I was able to learn more about the Vietnam War from "Patriots" then from any other source I have tried. It gives a 360 view of the war from all ranks and sides. I really enjoyed being able to read stories from view points not discussed regularly such as from women and Vietnamese citizens fighting on both sides of the war. Although an amazing book, I would not recommended it if the reader knows nothing about the war fought in Vietnam. I was able to learn more about the Vietnam War from "Patriots" then from any other source I have tried. It gives a 360 view of the war from all ranks and sides. I really enjoyed being able to read stories from view points not discussed regularly such as from women and Vietnamese citizens fighting on both sides of the war. Although an amazing book, I would not recommended it if the reader knows nothing about the war fought in Vietnam.

  18. 4 out of 5

    James Marland

    Just back from a holiday in Vietnam, and while there was exposed to many views about the war. As the author says, "...only a surprisingly narrow range of Vietnam War experiences have gained widespread attention". In this volume you can hear from the nurse, the draft dodger, the activist, the patriot, the prisoner, the artist, the poet, the diplomat and dozens of nameless Vietnamese whose voices are being heard for the first time. Just back from a holiday in Vietnam, and while there was exposed to many views about the war. As the author says, "...only a surprisingly narrow range of Vietnam War experiences have gained widespread attention". In this volume you can hear from the nurse, the draft dodger, the activist, the patriot, the prisoner, the artist, the poet, the diplomat and dozens of nameless Vietnamese whose voices are being heard for the first time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    WOW! If you read only one book about the Vietnam war, it has to be this one. I've never read anything like it. The author interviews every type of person that was involved in some way with the war - soldiers, leaders, medical people, politicians, protestors, POWs, etc, FROM BOTH SIDES! The result is you have a full-orbed picture of what happened in Southeast Asia. Powerful! Sobering! Sad! Thought-provoking! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! WOW! If you read only one book about the Vietnam war, it has to be this one. I've never read anything like it. The author interviews every type of person that was involved in some way with the war - soldiers, leaders, medical people, politicians, protestors, POWs, etc, FROM BOTH SIDES! The result is you have a full-orbed picture of what happened in Southeast Asia. Powerful! Sobering! Sad! Thought-provoking! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kent Carpenter

    Prior to reading this, I have read upwards of 40 Vietnam War accounts and memoirs. This collection of players and periphery participants in the war is rich, unbiased and detailed. I loved it, and have a better understanding of the US presidency, military strategy, the communist movement, media's portrayal of the war, and the Vietnamese accounts of both the North and South. Apparent through this reading is the obvious importance of international politics and the need for bi-partisan efforts. Prior to reading this, I have read upwards of 40 Vietnam War accounts and memoirs. This collection of players and periphery participants in the war is rich, unbiased and detailed. I loved it, and have a better understanding of the US presidency, military strategy, the communist movement, media's portrayal of the war, and the Vietnamese accounts of both the North and South. Apparent through this reading is the obvious importance of international politics and the need for bi-partisan efforts.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Up2orbit

    This oral history of the Vietnam War covers many different perspectives of the war and the culture of those war years. It was put together to help the reader see the big picture and also the individual human trauma caused on all sides. An extremely good read, although I recommend reading some background information on the Vietnam War as well.

  22. 5 out of 5

    William Clegg

    This book is an eye-opening collection of narratives that changed my entire view of the Vietnam War. It gives the reader a chance to hear the viewpoint of almost every kind of participant imaginable. At the end you will question, and rightly so, the justification of war and America's rightful place in the modern world. This book is an eye-opening collection of narratives that changed my entire view of the Vietnam War. It gives the reader a chance to hear the viewpoint of almost every kind of participant imaginable. At the end you will question, and rightly so, the justification of war and America's rightful place in the modern world.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    I bought this book for Appy's class at UMASS Amherst. Of all the books I had to read for the History Department, this was by far my favorite. Appy does an amazing job giving you all sides of the war. For a history class this is what you want to read because his it has in-depth interviews about the war. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the Vietnam War. I bought this book for Appy's class at UMASS Amherst. Of all the books I had to read for the History Department, this was by far my favorite. Appy does an amazing job giving you all sides of the war. For a history class this is what you want to read because his it has in-depth interviews about the war. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the Vietnam War.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Kovacs

    Read this in accompaniment with Appy's Vietnam War class at UMASS Amherst. A wonderful depiction of a very misunderstood Cold War conflict. Appy's skillful historical writing and effective implementation of oral history make this a very informative, enjoyable read. Looking forward to his future works. Read this in accompaniment with Appy's Vietnam War class at UMASS Amherst. A wonderful depiction of a very misunderstood Cold War conflict. Appy's skillful historical writing and effective implementation of oral history make this a very informative, enjoyable read. Looking forward to his future works.

  25. 4 out of 5

    B Deg

    I've read about 20 books on the Vietnam war and visited the country 7 times. This is by far the best book on the subject. Enjoyable to read, though some accounts can be quite harrowing. I can't imagine the amount of work that went into the writing and gathering of accounts. An easy 5 stars! I've read about 20 books on the Vietnam war and visited the country 7 times. This is by far the best book on the subject. Enjoyable to read, though some accounts can be quite harrowing. I can't imagine the amount of work that went into the writing and gathering of accounts. An easy 5 stars!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diego Modjo

    If I had to describe this book with one word it would be simple: Depth.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katie Huff

    An important book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    A must read not just for every American but anyone on the face of this earth that calls themselves human. Finally, a very excellent work that tells the whole story, from both sides, without propaganda and from this day forward policy makers are on the hot seat. This war not only divided a nation(s), family, truth and of course that mighty always misaligned word - justice. Let this never happen again, but that is just a dream, because it lives in our world yet today.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    First person accounts by American generals, draft dodgers who went to Canada, Vietnamese, Viet Cong, nurses, doctorsm Playboy bunnies who came on USO tours, James Brown, Country Joe MacDonald, children shot and injured who were brought to the States and adopted. This was an excellent book and really demonstrates the moral debate about the conflict.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a really great book because you get American and Vietnamese perspective of the Vietnam war. A lot of time when studying history, or wars you only see one perspective. Patriots opens ones eyes to the complexity of the Vietnam War.

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