The Reference Desk at TFPL

Take Ten: The Vietnam War

We’re seeing a renewed interest in books about Vietnam – the war and its history – with the broadcast of the new Ken Burns documentary. It’s a significant topic, and there are many, many books reflecting various points of view. The list here is a starting point, including titles by some who lived through the experience.



The Best and the Brightest – David Halberstam

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam – Neil Sheehan

Chickenhawk – Robert Mason

Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam – H.R. McMaster

Father, Soldier, Son: A Memoir of a Platoon Leader in Vietnam – Nathaniel Tripp



Matterhorn – Karl Marlantes

The Quiet American – Graham Greene

The Sympathizer – Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

Tree of Smoke – Denis Johnson


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