December 15, 2014

Book Review: The American Experience in Vietnam

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy by Zenith Press for this review. Opinions are my own.


I continue to be impressed with the books I receive for review from Zenith Press. Another beautifully-illustrated piece of historical non-fiction, The American Experience in Vietnam: Reflections on an Era walks the reader through the Vietnam War from the politics and history of its beginnings, and is updated through the 50th anniversary of the war, this year.

The book is broken into large sections covering the general chronology as well as topics, filled with striking photographs primarily from the war zone. It’s every bit as engaging to flip through as it is to sit and read. The large sections are broken up by two-page profiles of individuals’ experiences – regular Joes, war protestors, a Medal of Honor recipient, as well as figures fighting for the North Vietnamese.

For me, though, the biggest attraction are the plethora of images, both color and black and white, capturing so many perspectives of the Vietnam War. The emphasis was more on the soldiers who fought and died, and there wasn’t as much attention given to American POWs as I would’ve been interested in, since reading Defiant earlier this year.

There’s a lot of material to sift through, and especially the profiles of the individuals in the war were fascinating. But I think the real treasure in The American Experience is the photographs. If you have an interest in military history or photography, you will really enjoy The American Experience in Vietnam.


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