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A Vietnam reading list (part 3)

see the index in part 1

F. Covert Operations and Intelligence.

Adams, Sam. War of Numbers: An Intelligence Memoir. Introduction by Col. David Hackworth. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth Press, 1994.
*CORE* Posthumously published work by a CIA analyst concerning the underestimate of enemy forces in Vietnam. The book had been ready for much earlier publication when a great number of documents were declassified for the Westmoreland - CBS suit on the order of battle controversy. Adams felt he had to incorporate the newly available material; however, at the time of his death in 1988, much was still left out. Despite this incompleteness, the work shreds much light on the question of intelligence throughout the war.

McGehee, Ralph. Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA. New York: Sheridan Square Publications, 1983.

Tourison, Sedgwick D. Secret Army, Secret War: Washington's Tragic Spy Operation in North Vietnam. Naval Institute Special Warfare Series. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.
Tourison's account of SOG's covert operations into North Vietnam, Oplan 34A, prior to the Tonkin Gulf incident and the formal U.S. entry into combat. Using documents from both sides as well as oral history interviews from the participants, this is the story of failed ops in the early 1960's, and ultimately the betrayal of those Vietnamese operatives by the U.S.

Tourison, Sedgwick D. Talking with Victor Charlie : An Interrogator's Story. New York: Ivy Books (Ballantine), 1991. Valentine, Douglas. The Phoenix Program. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1990; Avon Books, 1992.

G. Laos and Cambodia.

Chandler, David P. The Tragedy of Cambodian History : Politics, War and Revolution since 1945. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992.

Dommen, Arthur J. Laos : Keystone of Indochina. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985.

Fall, Bernard. Anatomy of a Crisis: The Story of the Laotian Crisis of 1960-1961. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1969.
A good account of the aftermath of the Viet Minh invasion of Laos during the First Indochina War, and a stinging inditement of the policies of Eisenhower/Dulles leading to the Laotian Crisis.

Parker, James E., Jr. Codename Mule, Fighting the Secret War in Laos for the CIA. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Shawcross, William. Sideshow : Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.

Warner, Roger. Back Fire : The CIA's Secret War in Laos and Its Link to the War in Vietnam. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

H. Military Personal Narratives and Oral Histories.

Brennan, Matthew. Brennan's War : Vietnam 1965-1969. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1985; Pocket Books, 1989.

Broughton, Col. Jack. Thud Ridge. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1969; New York: Bantam, 1985.

Caputo, Philip. A Rumor of War. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1977; Ballantine, 1978.
*CORE* Award winning memoir by a Lieutenant in the Marine 9th Expeditionary Brigade in 1965 - 1966. The work is a powerful and compelling account of the early part of US ground combat involvement, including Caputo's court-marshall for the killing of a Vietnamese civilian which raises questions about both the nature of US tactics and the nature on guerilla warfare. The book also contains a short section on Caputo's experiences in 1975 as a journalist during the fall of the South.

Downs, Frederick Jr. The Killing Zone. New York: Norton, 1978.

Mason, Robert. Chickenhawk. New York: Viking, 1983.

Maurer, Harry. Strange Ground : Americans in Vietnam, 1945-1975: An Oral History. New York: Henry Holt, 1989.
A strong collection of pieces of oral history from folks in a miriad of different positions, spanning all eras in the American involvement.

Metzner, Edward. More Than a Soldier's War : Pacification in Vietnam. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1995.
*CORE* Memoir of a multi-tour US veteran who served as an advisor on the provincial level. The work provide significant insights into an aspect of the American involvement that is often overlooked.

Santoli, Al. Everything We Had : An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Thirty-three American Soldiers Who Fought It. New York: Random House, 1981; Ballantine, 1982.

Sheppard, Don. Riverine : A Brown-Water Sailor in the Delta, 1967. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1992; reprint, New York: Pocket Books, 1994.

Terry, Wallace. Bloods : An Oral History of the Vietnam War By Black Veterans. New York: Random House, 1984; reissue paper, Ballantine Books, 1989.

Walker, Keith. A Piece of My Heart : The Stories of Twenty Six American Women who Served in Vietnam. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1985; New York: Ballantine, 1987.

I. Specialized Topics: The Press

Arnett, Peter. Live from the Battlefield : From Vietnam to Baghdad, 35 Years in the World's War Zones. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994; Touchstone, 1995.

Braestrup, Peter. Big Story : How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington. Abridged edition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983; reprint, Novato, CA: Presideo Press, 1994.

Hallin, Daniel C. "The Uncensored War" : The Media and Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
*CORE* A major and systematic scholarly analysis of coverage of the war by major news organizations, in particular the New York Times (1961-65) and the television networks (1965-73), and its impact on the social construction of the war.

Herr, Michael. Dispatches. New York: Knopf, 1977; Vintage International, 1991.

Prochnau, William W. Once Upon a Distant War. New York: Times Books, 1995.
A detailed look at the press in the early days of the war - Sheehan, Halberstam, Browne, Arnett, etc.

Small, Melvin. Covering Dissent : The Media and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement. Perspectives in the Sixties. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

J. Specialized Topics: The Draft

Appy, Christian G. Working Class War : American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam. Chapel Hill: University North Carolina Press, 1993.

Baskir, Lawrence M. and William A. Strauss. Chance and Circumstance : The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation. With a Foreword by Theodore M. Hesburgh. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.
Still the most complete study of the draft available, as well as dishonorable and general discharges from the military. Baskir was the General Counsel and Chief Executive Officier of President Ford's Clemency Board; Strauss was its Director of Planning and Management as well as the director of the staff that issued the final report. Contains extemely important information and statistics about various aspects and inequalities of the selective service system. The work was originally sponsored by the University of Notre Dame.

K. Specialized Topics: War Crime Allegations

Bilton, Michael and Kevin Sim. Four Hours in My Lai. New York: Viking, 1992; Penguin USA, 1993.
*CORE* A fine detailed and relatively unbiased account of the massacre at My Lai 4, the subsequent cover-up and the investigations that followed. Bilton and Sim are British journalist who don't bring to this work as much baggage as American authors do, and there was some historical distance between the events and their writing.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The Winter Soldier Investigation : An Inquiry into American War Crimes. Boston: Beacon Press, 1972.

L. Culture and Politics in Vietnam.

Hess, Martha. Then the Americans Came : Voices from Vietnam. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993; New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

Hickey, Gerald C. Shattered World : Adaptation and Survival among Vietnam's Highland Peoples During the Vietnam War. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.
*CORE* This work, by a pre-eminent anthropologist who is extensively published in this area, deals with the profound effects of the Indochina wars on the highland ethnic groups (also known as Montagnards) in terms of displacement, survival and the effects on their culture. It provides a unique insight into an area usually ignored or lightly covered in other sources.

Huynh Kim Khanh. Vietnamese Communism : 1925-1945. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982.
*CORE* The definitive study of the implanting and evolution of a European anti-capitalist ideology on a Vietnamese socio-political conflict of anti-colonial nationalism and anti-feudal peasant movements within the context of the debate about modernization. The work traces the formation of the ICP, the ultra-nationalist, non social reform era of the 20s, the anti-nationalist international era in the 30s, to a balance emerging at the end of WWII and Ho Chi Minh's role in this process. Also discussed are the Trotskyite and Stalinist elements during the thirties.

Jamieson, Neil L. Understanding Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
*CORE* An important study which tries to place the Indochina Wars within the context of the century long internal debate in Vietnamese society concerning the means and direction of modernization in the wake of the French conquest. Using a variety of Vietnamese cultural and political sourses, Jamieson seeks to place these events in the framework of the struggle to define Vietnamese tradition and society within the context of the need to evolve the culture in reponse to the modern world, a topic which still lies at the heart of much of today's Vietnamese politics.

Marr, David G. Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.

bibliography continues in part 4