This week’s staff pick is The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns. The companion book to the 10-part PBS documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, it is a thorough and powerful look at the Vietnam War. Including photographs, archival material and transcripts the book examines the conflict from all sides. Interested in watching the PBS documentary? We’ll be airing all 10 episodes on Monday nights from October 16-December 18. Register for episode one here.
“More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war: U.S. and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. The book plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Beautifully written and richly illustrated, this is a tour de force that is certain to launch a new national conversation.” —Amazon