Voices from Vietnam

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The Vietnam War was like no other war, and the era in which it was fought was like no other time. This is the story of the people who lived it, told in their own voices.
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The Vietnam War was like no other war, and the era in which it was fought was like no other time. This is the story of the people who lived it, told in their own voices.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``This book is not about the politics of history of the Vietnam War. It is about what it was like to be in Vietnam,'' writes Denenberg (The True Story of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI). Using the words of men and women affected by the events in Vietnam, the author paints a disturbing picture of ``the first war the United States ever lost.'' The quotes come from a variety of sources, including then-president Lyndon Johnson, Jane Fonda and Walter Cronkite, and provide conflicting viewpoints on the war and its purpose. But most memorable are those of the numerous soldiers who fought in Vietnam-they discuss, among other things, the fear of death, the use of drugs to escape the horror of fighting, the pressure to believe in what they were doing, and confusion over anti-war sentiment. Arranged chronologically, the statements (except those made by military officials) become progressively more doubtful and despondent as the war drags on. Throughout, the terrible suffering of all involved remains the central focus. A moving tribute to the lingering effects of a painful period in American history. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Denenberg has gathered accounts that attest to the terrible human cost of the long conflict in Vietnam. Although the entire period of U.S. involvement is covered, this is not meant to be a general history. The author supplies only limited background information, supplemented with primary-source material from scholarly works, to provide a structure for the quotes, letters, diary entries, and reminiscences (some of which are quite graphic) of Americans and Vietnamese who experienced the war. Their words provide a perspective that is often missing in books that have a more traditional historical focus. Denenberg includes some material that is critical of the North Vietnamese, but he saves his harshest criticisms for the U.S. and South Vietnam, an interpretation that does little to help readers gain a fuller understanding of the war. Although report writers will need to consult titles with more coverage and analysis, such as Albert Marrin's America in Vietnam (Viking, 1992), Voices from Vietnam will draw students who want to understand why the conflict continues to invoke such extreme personal reactions.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO
Chris Sherman
Denenberg scoured an impressive array of personal narratives and histories of the Vietnam War to produce this fine chronicle of U.S. involvement, which stretches from the late 1940s to 1975. Readers will surely be moved by the carefully chosen excerpts from the letters and personal accounts of soldiers, military and political leaders, diplomats, intelligence officers, medical personnel, Vietnamese citizens, journalists, and activists, whose varied experiences convey the traumatic climate of the period. The inclusion of writings by North Vietnamese soldiers is particularly interesting. Denenberg's seamless commentary introduces each phase of the war and links the passages, providing a balance that heightens the poignancy, frustration, or resolve expressed. A high-caliber oral history expressly for young adults, this definitely deserves a place in both school and public library collections. Source notes are provided for each chapter, and the book includes an extensive bibliography of adult books, a glossary, and a chronology.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590435307
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 214
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Breath Taking

    War! What is it good for? Well, it is good for a great book, which is what you get in Barry Denenberg's Voices Of Vietnam. This isn't just your ordinary war story of Vietnam; it is more a story of what it was like to be in Vietnam. It tells the complete story of how the war started, what went on during the war and how it ended as well. As a reader you get the inside scoop of how and why events happened as well as what was going on inside of people's heads. It's not like you are just receiving Denenberg's point of view either as the story is composed of many letters, and quotes that were taken before, during and after the war, from many ordinary and famous people. The book goes into great detail so it may not be suitable for all audiences, as I found myself cringing at some parts. However it is worth your money and is a definite must read. If you are looking for the type of book that will get you right into the story I suggest reading Voices of Vietnam.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2000

    Great Book--It makes you feel like you were there

    Voices from Vietnam was an excellent book. The stories by soldiers that were once stationed there are detailed, and exciting. The descriptions and the accounts of events make you feel like you were there fighting beside them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2000


    I found this book while doing a project on the Vietnam war protests. I found it to contain some of the most touching letters and poems! It was terrific to find a book that gave an inside look to the war at home and didn't just lay out facts.

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