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Staff Picks - Vietnam (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

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FICTION 

Steel Tiger
by Mark Berent
Major Court Bannister, Major "Flak" Apple, General "Whitey" Whisenand, Colonel Wolf Lochert, and Toby Parker live dangerously while spending their second tours of duty in Vietnam.

The Harder They Come
by T. Coraghessan Boyle
A Vietnam veteran, his schizophrenic son and the son's older lover endure an anti-authoritarian confrontation marked by the son's violent breakdown and flight through California.

The Hearts of Men
by Nickolas Butler
A scarred Vietnam veteran &successful businessman reflects on his teen years as a social outcast and friend to a popular youth during a summer camp reunion marked by selflessness and an unthinkable event involving his friend's family members.

Perfume River
by Robert Olen Butler
Presents the story of a single North Florida family shaped and overshadowed by the Vietnam War and the estrangements between the fathers, sons, and brothers who supported or protested against it. 

Cold Hit
by Stephen J. Cannell
Investigating a chilling series of homeless Vietnam veteran murders in Los Angeles, detective Shane Scully and his partner stumble on a death that suggests the work of a copy-cat killer, in a case that is further complicated by a ten-year-old unsolved murder.

The Lotus and the Storm
by Lan Cao
A tale set during the decades following the Vietnam War is told through the experiences of a Vietnamese-American family, including former South Vietnamese soldier Minh and his daughter, Mai, who move to a close-knit immigrant community in Virginia where they confront devastating secrets. 

Without Remorse
by Tom Clancy
In order to save himself and stop a sinister group of men, John Clark undertakes a terrifying mission into the netherworld of international conspiracy.

The Prince of Tides
by Pat Conroy
Interweaves the events of Tom Wingo's summer in New York and his relationship to Susan Lowenstein, his sister Savannah's beautiful psychiatrist and the complex history of the South Carolinian Wingo family, from World War II, through Vietnam.

Flight of the Intruder
by Stephen Coonts
During the Vietnam War, attack pilot Jake Grafton, struggling with his conscience and trying to find meaning to all the senseless death and destruction, decides to plan an illegal bombing raid into the very heart of Hanoi.

The Intruders
by Stephen Coonts
Assigned to a Marine unit on an aircraft carrier, Navy Lt. Jake Grafton must make decisions about his future, both his career and his relationship with Callie, his girlfriend.

Finding Jack
by Gareth Crocker
Joining the flagging war effort in Vietnam after losing his young family in a tragic accident, Fletcher Carson rescues a wounded yellow Labrador during a mission and faces a difficult choice when the government refuses to transport military dogs back home.

Up Country
by Nelson DeMille
Retired Army investigator Paul Brenner is called back into service to investigate the death of a soldier thirty years earlier in Vietnam--a case that stirs up many unpleasant memories.

The Edge of Honor
by P. T. Deutermann
Aboard the John Bell Hood during the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Brian Holcomb uncovers a deadly secret that could destroy his career or the lives of hundreds of men, while, on land, his wife Maddy finds herself attracted to another man.

The Return
by Michael Gruber
The real Richard Marder would shock his acquaintances, if they ever met him. Marder is perfectly comfortable keeping his true self a secret from his clients, his friends and his daughter. Only an old army buddy from Vietnam, Patrick Francis Skelly, knows what Marder is capable of.

The Zenith
by Duong Thu Huong
A reimagining of the final months of Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh recounts his imprisonment in an isolated mountaintop compound where his story is entwined with those of his wife's brother-in-law, an elder in a small village town, and a close friend and political ally. 

Finding Moon
by Tony Hillerman
In 1975, journalist Moon Mathias ventures into the turmoil of Southeast Asia in search of the child of his recently deceased brother, a quest that takes him from Manila to the Cambodian jungles as he uncovers a dangerous trail of smuggling, intrigue, and possible murder. 

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving
Owen Meany hits a foul ball while playing baseball in the summer of 1953 that kills his best friend's mother, an accident that Owen is sure is the result of divine intervention.

Second Watch (MYSTERY)
by Judith A. Jance
When a series of dreams take him back to his days in Vietnam, reminding him of people and events he hasn't thought about in years, J. P. Beaumont, recovering from knee replacement surgery, is plunged into one of the most mind-blowing mysteries he has ever faced. 

The Western Star
by Craig Johnson
Sheriff Walt Longmire navigates a violent convergence of his past and present during a parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men he has ever met, a criminal whose thirst for vengeance threatens everyone Walt cares about and echoes complicated dynamics from a Vietnam-era sheriff's convention.

Keeping Watch
by Laurie R. King
Allen Carmichael came back from Vietnam a lifetime ago, but only now was he ready to return home. For years, he's lived on the fringes of the law, using a soldier's skills to keep watch over those too young to defend themselves. Some consider him nothing but a kidnapper for hire - the best in the business; others call him a hero. 

Sweet Sunday
by John Lawton
Chasing a draft dodger in the turbulent summer of 1969, private eye Turner Raines is embroiled in the death of his oldest friend, whose demise is overshadowed by unresolved family dynamics and secrets from Vietnam. 

Matterhorn
by Karl Marlantes
Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his fellow Marines venture into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and fight their way into manhood, confronting external obstacles as well as racial tension, competing ambitions, and underhanded officers.

Let the Great World Spin
by Colum McCann
In 1974 Manhattan, a radical young Irish monk struggles with personal demons while making his home among Bronx prostitutes, a group of mothers shares grief over their lost Vietnam soldier sons, and a young grandmother attempts to prove her worth. 

The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Follows a Viet Cong agent as he spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life in 1975 Los Angeles.

The Standard Grand
by Jay Baron Nicorvo
A homeless AWOL female soldier is embroiled in a violent land dispute involving a Vietnam veteran's halfway house on property coveted by a multinational company, a conflict that involves a host of diverse characters in sinister attacks and a decades-old murder. 

Going After Cacciato
by Tim O’Brien
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.

The Things They Carried
by Tim O’Brien
Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness. 

Girl by the Road at Night
by David Rabe
Private Joseph Whitaker, with his Vietnam deployment papers in hand, spends his last weekend trying to find anyone who will acknowledge what he is about to do matters. In Saigon a prostitute, Quach Ngoc Lan, spends her days haggling and submitting to physical mortification--their chance encounter in Saigon forges a surprising connection.

Once, In Lourdes
by Sharon Solwitz
As the Vietnam War rages overseas, four friends make a vow. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. Then, at the end of the two weeks, they will sacrifice themselves on the altar of their friendship.

Lost Soldiers
by James Webb
Portrays the story of the Vietnam War through the eyes of Brandon Condley, who remembers how Vietnam was when he served there as a Marine when he returns to it after a thirty-year absence.

Hot Mahogany
by Stuart Woods
Hired by his CIA boss to protect his older brother, an Army intelligence operative who is suffering from amnesia, Stone Barrington learns about his charge's talent for restoring antiques and his links to a haunting event in Vietnam more than thirty years earlier. 

NON FICTION

A Strong West Wind (070.92 C147) 
by Gail Caldwell
An evocative portrait of growing up in Texas during the 1950s and the rebellious 1960s, describing her introspective childhood, voracious love of reading, the anguish of the Vietnam War, turbulent romance, &rebellion against her beloved father. 

Witness to the Revolution (303.484 BINGHAM)
by Clara Bingham
An oral history of American society in the years of 1969 & 1970 offers a narrative look at the anti-war movement told in the words of the activists, organizers, criminals, bombers, policy makers, veterans, hippies, and others who challenged nearly every aspect of American society.

Ship of Fate (305.96)
by Tran Dinh Tru
The emotionally gripping story of a Vietnamese military officer who evacuated from Saigon in 1975 but made the dramatic decision to return to Vietnam for his wife and children, rather than resettle in the United States without them. 

Breach of Trust (355.00973 B117)
by Andrew J. Bacevich
Bacevich takes stock of the separation between Americans and their military, tracing its origins to the Vietnam era and exploring its pernicious implications: a nation with an abiding appetite for war waged at enormous expense by a standing army demonstrably unable to achieve victory. 

Gold Rush in the Jungle (591.68095 D785)
by Dan Drollette Jr.
Filled with research gathered from famous biologists, conservationists, indigenous peoples, former POWs and ex-Viet Cong, this eye-opening book, taking readers deep into the valleys, hills and hollows of Vietnam, explores the race to discover & save the world's rarest animals. 

An American Requiem (813.54 C319)
by James Carroll
A former priest describes his clash with his father, an Air Force general, over the Vietnam War and the issues that divided families at the time.

Against the Wind and Tide (818.5209 L742)
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
A final collection of selected letters and diary entries by the National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee follows her struggles over an unplanned pregnancy, the evolution of "Gift from the Sea," and her views on politics during the Vietnam War.

Hotels, Hospitals and Jails (818.603)
by Anthony Swofford
Describes how the author found redemption from a life of drugs, alcohol, fast cars, & women by taking a series of RV trips with his ailing, Vietnam veteran father and a chance encounter with his future wife.

Vietnam, A New History (959.7 GOSCHA)
by Christopher E. Goscha
Details the history of the events that created the modern state of Vietnam, from antiquity to present day, highlighting the diversity of its people, polities, and geography.

Viet Nam (959.7 KIERNAN)
by Ben Kiernan
For many Westerners, the name Vietnam evokes images of a bloody televised American war that generated a firestorm of protest & brought conflict into their living rooms. In his sweeping account, Ben Kiernan broadens this vision by narrating the rich history of the peoples who have inhabited the land now known as Viet Nam over the past 3,000 years. 

Hue 1968: The Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam 959.704 BOWDEN)
Interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict and materials from Vietnamese and American archives provide multiple points of view on each stage of the Battle of Hue. 

A Rumor of War (959.704 C255)
by Philip Caputo
A personal memoir of the war in Vietnam, in which the author first served as a Marine and which he later covered as a reporter.

Dereliction of Duty (959.704 JOHNSON)
by H. R. McMaster
Examines the decisions made between 1963 and 1965 in regards to escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and looks at how early mistakes in policy formation were constantly repeated throughout the Johnson administration.

Hurricane Street (959.704 KOVIC)
by Ron Kovic
Kovic’s impassioned, timely memoir about the American Veterans Movement picks up where Born on the Fourth of July leaves off.

By Honor Bound (959.704 NORRIS)
by Tom Norris
In April of 1972, SEAL Lieutenant Tom Norris risked his life in an unprecedented ground rescue of two American airmen who were shot down behind enemy lines in North Vietnam, a feat for which he would be awarded the Medal of Honor--an award that represents the pinnacle of heroism and courage.

The Vietnam Reader (959.704)
A uniquely comprehensive anthology presents the finest fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, photographs, and lyrics to come out of America's involvement in Vietnam, along with a glossary, filmography, bibliography, chronology of the war and readers' discussion guide. 

Enduring Vietnam (959.704 WRIGHT)
by James Edward Wright
Depicts the cruelty of the Vietnam war through interviews with those who served and the families of those who served and never returned, discussing why they joined the military, what they thought of the war and what it was like to serve. 

Embers of War: (959.7041)
by Fredrik Logevall
A history of the four decades leading up to the Vietnam War offers insights into how the U.S. became involved, identifying commonalities between the campaigns of French and American forces while discussing relevant political factors.

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (959.7043 D285)
A collection of letters, poems, and petitions from the front, written mostly by infantrymen to their families and friends, evokes the emotions of an intense longing for home, fear, hope, grief, and anger aroused by the Vietnam War.

Last Men Out (959.7043)
by Bob Drury
A moment-by-moment account of the heroic operation by U.S. Marines to rescue thousands of American troops and allies in the final twenty-four hours of the Vietnam War focuses on the stories of eleven young Marines who were the last to leave.

Vietnam: A Chronicle of the War (959.7043)
by Michael Maclear
More than 2000 photographs and maps.

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History (959.7043 WARD)
A vibrantly photographed companion to the multi-part Ken Burns PBS film examines the Vietnam War's role in debates that continue in today's world, drawing on extensive interviews with contributors at all levels in America and Vietnam to explain why and how the war happened as well as its complicated legacy.

Our Vietnam: The War, 1954-1975 (959.70433)
by A. J. Langguth
Presents the Vietnam War as a series of missteps, misunderstandings, and mistakes by leaders including Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and the heads of the CIA and explains the origins of those errors.

Hunters and Shooters (959.70434)
by Bill Fawcett
Documents the history of the SEAL teams and presents the personal stories of 15 SEALs in Vietnam, recounting in sometimes chilling detail their dangerous achievements and near escapes.

Born on the Fourth of July (959.70434 KOVIC)
by Ron Kovic
from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country's most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair.

What It Is Like to Go to War (959.70434 MM347)
by Karl Marlantes
Offers insight into the combat experience, drawing on the author's background as a decorated Vietnam War veteran to raise awareness about how inadequately troops are prepared for battle-related psychological and spiritual trauma.

When We Walked Above the Clouds (959.70438 B261)
by H. Lee Barnes
Follows the day-to-day life of a Green Beret as reported by H. Lee Barnes, from the Dominic Republic civil war of 1965 to Vietnam. 

In Pharoah’s Army (959.70438 W855)
by Tobias Wolff
Whether he is evoking the blind carnage of the Tet offensive, the theatrics of his fellow Americans, or the unraveling of his own illusions, Wolff brings to this work the same uncanny eye for detail, pitiless candor and mordant wit.

The Eaves of Heaven (973.0495 P534)
by Andrew X. Pham
The author relates his father's experiences over the course of three wars--the French occupation of Indochina, the World War II Japanese invasion, and the Vietnam War--as he captures everyday life in Vietnam amid the tragedy and turbulence of war. 

The Unfinished War (973.92)
by Walter H. Capps
Examines the development of the attitudes of Americans toward the Vietnam War and analyzes the war's continuing influence on society and the country's self-image.