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Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Tour of Duty sets the record straight on Kerry's honorable service

In Tour of Duty, author Douglas Brinkley presents a thoroughly researched account of Senator John Kerry's years as a Naval Lieutenant in Vietnam. From the authors interviews with people who were actually there, we are led to the indubitable conclusion that Kerry, one o...
In Tour of Duty, author Douglas Brinkley presents a thoroughly researched account of Senator John Kerry's years as a Naval Lieutenant in Vietnam. From the authors interviews with people who were actually there, we are led to the indubitable conclusion that Kerry, one of the most highly decorated swift boat officers during the Vietnam War, deserved his accolades. The book puts to rest the politically motivated revisionist spoutings of the so-called 'Swiftboat Veterans for Truth'. Also explored with great detail are Kerry's antiwar activities following his Vietnam service. It is interesting to find that the vast bulk of Kerry's work during this period was aimed at fighting for improved medical care and VA funding for injured and war-torn vets, demands that the Nixon administration ignored outright. Also notable is the fact that Kerry, when he senced that Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) was turning radical, resigned from the group in protest. This is something the SBVT and other Bush front groups certainly don't want the public to know about during this election cycle. Finally, we learn that the tactic of going back and attempting to discredit the service of honorable veterans is a remnant of a deplorable tactic used by the Nixon administration and Republican operatives some thirty years ago. Some things never change.

posted by Anonymous on August 23, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Those who tell the history get to make up the history

Based on other accounts of John Kerry's time in Vietnam and his voting record and public comments whiel in the Senate, this book seems more like propaganda than a purely factual history. Since when is it brave or noble to 'chase down and finish off a wounded and retrea...
Based on other accounts of John Kerry's time in Vietnam and his voting record and public comments whiel in the Senate, this book seems more like propaganda than a purely factual history. Since when is it brave or noble to 'chase down and finish off a wounded and retreating enemy solider' as one acount tells of Kerry's silver star. Never more has the saying three sides to every story seemed more true. Each side has their verson and the truth is somewhere in between.

posted by Anonymous on April 27, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2004

    Tour of Duty sets the record straight on Kerry's honorable service

    In Tour of Duty, author Douglas Brinkley presents a thoroughly researched account of Senator John Kerry's years as a Naval Lieutenant in Vietnam. From the authors interviews with people who were actually there, we are led to the indubitable conclusion that Kerry, one of the most highly decorated swift boat officers during the Vietnam War, deserved his accolades. The book puts to rest the politically motivated revisionist spoutings of the so-called 'Swiftboat Veterans for Truth'. Also explored with great detail are Kerry's antiwar activities following his Vietnam service. It is interesting to find that the vast bulk of Kerry's work during this period was aimed at fighting for improved medical care and VA funding for injured and war-torn vets, demands that the Nixon administration ignored outright. Also notable is the fact that Kerry, when he senced that Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) was turning radical, resigned from the group in protest. This is something the SBVT and other Bush front groups certainly don't want the public to know about during this election cycle. Finally, we learn that the tactic of going back and attempting to discredit the service of honorable veterans is a remnant of a deplorable tactic used by the Nixon administration and Republican operatives some thirty years ago. Some things never change.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    A Good Book That Tells Kerry's Faults As Well As His Accomplishments.

    This book makes a good case that John Kerry's military service was honorable. It also deals with his growing frustration with the war and eventually speaking out against the war when he came home. Personally, I think speaking out against the war was the right thing to do. He never blamed the enlisted men or low-ranking Officers. He blamed the Goverment and the Pentagon. And his predication that Vietnamzation would fail was right on the money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2004

    It's eerie how much John Kerry's feelings run parallel to my own.

    I served in Vietnam with the US Army, 25th Infantry Division. The effect of that service on my thinking was remarkably similar to that of John Kerry. Perhaps some who have not experienced the waste and destruction of war cannot understand how one might be of the utmost patriotic service to one's country in protesting such involvement. To wage war without clearly defined objectives, without clearly demonstrated imminent danger to our nation, purely for political agendas; that is a dis-service to our nation and to our soldiers put in harm's way. This book not only provided an insight into his anti-Vietnam war stance, but also helped me to understand much about John Kerry's character and determination to fight for the causes in which he believes. *** Keep up the fight!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    Corageous and poignant; very moving portrayal of John Kerry

    John Kerry's fascinating life is detailed sensitively and brilliantly by Mr. Brinkley. It paints a very different picture of all the negative, partisan rhetorical views of John Keryy that has been bandied about unfairly by a few other reviewers here and in the media. John Kerry is portrayed as a man who was born into privilage, but did not feel that this privilage was a 'free ride'. When you read 'Tour of Duty', you will discover that John Kerry IS a regular guy and he genuinely cares about his family, his constituents, and the nation. He is not some stoic and dull boor...he is an emotional and deep man, and you will see that he is based upon his own journals and thoughts that Mr. Brinkley had full access to when writing this book. John Kerry comes accross as a man who was born to lead and he does so with honor and courage, both in the face of personal tradegy and in public life. He comes accross as someome who thinks things through and considers all sides, someone who is fair and non-partisan ( as his well known friendship with Sen. John McCain should point out to anyone.). This book is a MUST read for anyone who truly wants to know more about John Kerry, the man.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2004

    Karl Rove Would Not Approve

    This book prints factual, truthful information about John Kerry's tour of duty in Vietnam. It is obvious that one of the reviewers did not bother to actually read the book. He merely spouted Rove-isms. This guy Kerry is the real deal, if we do indeed want a pragmatic president rather than one whose dogmatic aggression has put our defense in peril. Kerry fought gallantly in Vietnam despite misgivings about the war. He did his duty to the military and then returned home to do his duty for the people of the U.S. He may not be 'perfect' but he is definitely a big step up for the Oval Office (if only we can remove all of the current oil stains).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2004

    A Great Book on a Great American

    Anyone curious as to how John Kerry surged to the front of the Democratic presidential race need only read this tremendously well-written and -researched account of his gallant tours of duty in Vietnam and beyond. Historian Douglas Brinkley does a terrific job of telling Kerry's heroic story, and traces the compelling path of a thoughtful and highly principled politican. It hardly seems a coincidence that this book came out right before Kerry's leap to the top of the Democratic pack--anyone who reads it will see just how much this brave onetime Navy lieutentant could bring to the presidency. And whether one agrees with Kerry's politics or not, Brinkley's book offers not only a fascinating assessment of a crucial era in recent American history but is also just a darn good read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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