10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War

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It was the war that lasted ten thousand days. The war that inspired scores of songs. The war that sparked dozens of riots. And in this stirring chronicle, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Philip Caputo writes about our country's most controversial war — the Vietnam War — for young readers. From the first stirrings of unrest in Vietnam under French colonial rule, to American intervention, to the battle at Hamburger Hill, to the Tet Offensive, to the fall of Saigon, 10,000 Days of Thunder explores the war that ...

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10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War

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It was the war that lasted ten thousand days. The war that inspired scores of songs. The war that sparked dozens of riots. And in this stirring chronicle, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Philip Caputo writes about our country's most controversial war — the Vietnam War — for young readers. From the first stirrings of unrest in Vietnam under French colonial rule, to American intervention, to the battle at Hamburger Hill, to the Tet Offensive, to the fall of Saigon, 10,000 Days of Thunder explores the war that changed the lives of a generation of Americans and that still reverberates with us today.
Included within 10,000 Days of Thunder are personal anecdotes from soldiers and civilians, as well as profiles and accounts of the actions of many historical luminaries, both American and Vietnamese, involved in the Vietnam War, such as Richard M. Nixon, General William C. Westmoreland, Ho Chi Minh, Joe Galloway, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson, and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Caputo also explores the rise of Communism in Vietnam, the roles that women played on the battlefield, the antiwar movement at home, the participation of Vietnamese villagers in the war, as well as the far-reaching impact of the war's aftermath.
Caputo's dynamic narrative is highlighted by stunning photographs and key campaign and battlefield maps, making 10,000 Days of Thunder THE consummate book on the Vietnam War for kids.

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Editorial Reviews

Karen MacPherson
Featuring hundreds of photos, plus helpful maps and easy-to-digest fact boxes, Caputo's well-organized volume is an excellent introduction for both kids and adults.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Vietnam veteran Caputo (A Rumor of War) pulls no punches in this portrait of the Vietnam War. In his introduction, Caputo movingly depicts the war's impact on him personally, but also objectively presents the events. "The Vietnam war has three dubious distinctions: It was the longest and most unpopular war in American history and the only war America ever lost," he begins. After setting the stage with the heating up of the Cold War, Caputo begins a three-part exploration of the Vietnam War's origins: French colonialism, the dividing of Vietnam, and America's intervention. The design packs a visual wallop: a strong full-page photographic or cartographic image appears opposite a clean and succinct discussion of the topic (usually one theme per spread), while a sidebar offers "quick facts," such as the six presidents involved in the war (from Truman to Ford), or explanations of terms like "Viet Cong." The full-page and inset photographs are dramatic and often haunting (e.g., a marine crouched in a pagoda on the Ho Chi Minh Trail). Caputo's balanced approach offers evidence of atrocities and humanity on both sides of the conflict. He documents how American soldiers developed unique combat techniques for guerilla warfare and for the terrain, such as the use of special forces, helicopters and Agent Orange. The narrative also spotlights the homefront-antiwar protests and songs, plus the impact of the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Caputo offers readers an intelligent, close-up view of a defining time in world history, with many pertinent insights and lessons for today. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-In this truly multifaceted presentation of the conflict, both on the front lines and on the homefront, Caputo has produced what is at once an overview and a sensitive, resonant picture of the war as seen and experienced by American soldiers, the Viet Cong, North Vietnamese guerrillas, and the citizens of both South Vietnam and the United States. Covering the period from the rise of Bolshevism in Russia in the early 20th century to the American normalization of relations with Vietnam in 1995, it's an ideal source for both information and understanding. Beginning with an affecting introduction, the author then gives a history of communism and the origins of the war. Following this, the American involvement in Vietnam is traced in numerous two- to four-page sections dealing with various aspects of the conflict, such as the Viet Cong, the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the DMZ, and the draft. Each section has a "quick facts" box that highlights the main issues surrounding each topic. Caputo's prose is clear and direct, and the award-winning photos, both black and white and color, add an immediacy that sets this title apart from more conventional treatments. The glossary is detailed and informative, and the bibliography is a veritable gold mine of sound sources. This is the book of choice for libraries serving today's students.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Vietnam War lasted 10,000 days and was the longest, most unpopular war in American history, the only war lost by the U.S. Caputo, author of the best-selling Vietnam War memoir A Rumor of War (1977), offers the most complete overview of the war to date for young readers. He clearly presents the origins of the war in Communism, colonialism and the Cold War. The Gulf of Tonkin, Khe Sanh, Hamburger Hill, the Tet Offensive, My Lai, Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, anti-war protests, Nixon, Johnson and Ho Chi Minh are just some of the topics covered in one- to three-page essays. The attractively packaged volume continues the successful formula of this series on important periods in American history. Vivid, full-page black-and-white and color photographs, maps, a time line and "Quick Facts" sidebars effectively support the text. Though no source notes are provided for the many quotations used, the bibliography indicates several oral histories. A list of Web sites on the war will be especially useful to young researchers. An important addition to the field. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689862311
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 141,752
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Caputo shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1973, when he was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. A Rumor of War, a memoir of his service during the Vietnam War as a marine lieutenant, has become a classic with more than two million copies sold since its publication in 1977. Philip Caputo's most recent novel is Acts of Faith. He is also the author of nine other books: Horn of Africa, DelCorso's Gallery, Indian Country, Means of Escape, Equation for Evil, Exiles, The Voyage, In the Shadows of the Morning, and Ghosts of Tsavo. He lives in Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    I enjoyed reading 10000 Days of Thunder. It taught me alot about different things that happened in the war of Vietnam, for example, it was not really a war. The US did not declare war, because the government was afraid of the Vietnamese recieving help from China and Russia. The book also taught me of different battles and how the Vietnamese violated Cambodia and Laos's nutrality by building the Ho-Chi-Minh trail. Iwold suggest this book to a lot of people wanting to learn about and what happened during the Vietnam War.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

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    Posted December 31, 2012

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