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Vietnam War/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Vietnam War.
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  • Anderson, David L. Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War (2004). excerpt and text search
  • Anderson, David L. The Vietnam War. (2005). 152 pp.
  • Davidson, Phillip B. Vietnam at War: The History, 1946-1975 1988), by the US chief of military intelligence in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969; heavy use of captured Communist documents excerpt and text search
  • Herring, George C. America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950–1975 (4th ed 2001), most widely used short history.
  • Jensen, Richard. "Victory and Defeat in the Vietnam War," in Jensen et al, eds. Trans-Pacific Relations: America, Europe, and Asia in the Twentieth Century (2003) pp 171-216 .online edition
  • Karnow, Stanley. Vietnam: A History (1983), popular history by journalist; strong on Saigon's plans. excerpt and text search
  • Kolko, Gabriel. Anatomy of a War (1985), by prominent antiwar historian
  • Kutler, Stanley ed. Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (1996). 711pp; essays by experts
  • McMahon, Robert J. Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays (1995) textbook.
  • Moïse, Edwin E. Historical Dictionary of the Vietnam War. (2002). 493 pp.
  • Moyar, Mark. Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965. (2006). 400 pp. vol 1, strong on Vietnamese sources; well received by conservatives. excerpt and text search
  • Neu, Charles E. America's Lost War: Vietnam, 1945-1975. (2005). 272 pp.
  • Schulzinger, Robert D. Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975. (1997) online edition
  • Tucker, Spencer. ed. Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (1998) 3 vol. 1320 pp; also one-volume 578 pp abridgement (2000). excerpt and text search
  • Tucker, Spencer. Vietnam. (1999) 226pp. online edition
  • Wiest, Andrew. The Vietnam War, 1956-1975 (2003). 95pp online edition
  • Young, Marilyn B. and Buzzanco, Robert, eds. A Companion to the Vietnam War. (2002). 514 pp. 24 essays by antiwar scholars excerpt and text search

North Vietnam and allies

  • Ang, Cheng Guan. Vietnam War from the Other Side (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Chen, Jian. "China's Involvement in the Vietnam War, 1964-1969," China Quarterly (1995) 142: 357-387.
  • Currey, Cecil B. Victory at Any Cost: The Genius of Viet Nam's Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap (2005)
  • Davidson, Phillip B. Vietnam at War: The History, 1946-1975 1988), by the US chief of military intelligence in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969; heavy use of captured Communist documents excerpt and text search
  • Duiker, William J. Ho Chi Minh (2000). excerpt and text search
  • Duiker, William J. Sacred War: Nationalism and Revolution in a Divided Vietnam (1994)
  • Gilbert, Marc Jason. Why The North Won The Vietnam War (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Lanning, Michael Lee, and Dan Cragg, Inside the VC and the NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces (1992)
  • Pike, Douglas. PAVN: People's Army of Vietnam (1986)
  • Tai, Hue-Tam Ho. The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Tin, Bui. Following Ho Chi Minh: The Memoirs of a North Vietnamese Colonel (1999) Primary source. Highly revealing memoir by a prominent Vietnamese journalist who left for France in 1990. He joined the revoution in 1945, became a Colonel in the People's Army. excerpt and text search
  • Zhai, Qiang. China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950-1975 (2000); excerpt and text search

Military studies

  • Bergerud, Eric M. The Dynamics of Defeat: The Vietnam War in Hau Nghia Province (1991) excerpt and text search
  • Bergerud, Eric M. Red Thunder, Tropic Lightning: The World of a Combat Division in Vietnam (1994). excerpt and text search
  • Buzzanco, Robert. Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era (1996) excerpt and text search
  • Brigham, Robert K. ARVN: Life and Death in the South Vietnamese Army. (2006). 178 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Butler, David. Fall of Saigon, (1986). on 1975
  • Carland, John M. Stemming the Tide, May 1965 to October 1966 Combat Operations (2000) 410 pp. official US Army history
  • Clarke, Jeffrey C. Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965-1973 (1988), official U.S. Army history
  • Clodfelter, Mark. The Limits of Airpower: The American Bombing of North Vietnam (1989), influential study online edition
  • Cosmas, Graham A., and LtCol Terrence P. Murray. U.S. Marines in Vietnam, Vietnamization and Redeployment, 1970-1971 (1986) full text online
  • Davidson, Phillip B. Vietnam at War: The History: 1946-1975 (1989) excerpt and text search
  • Elliott, David W. P. The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta, 1930-1975 (2 vol 2002), 1584 pp; the condensed paperback version runs 540pp
  • Gates, John M. The U.S. Army and Irregular Warfare ch 7 online
  • Krepinevich, Jr. Andrew W. The Army and Vietnam (1986) excerpt and text search
  • Leonard, Raymond W. "Learning from History: Linebacker II and U.S. Air Force Doctrine." Journal of Military History (1994), 58 267-303. in JSTOR
  • Lewy, Guenter. America in Vietnam (1978), defends U.S. actions. excerpt and text search
  • MacGarrigle George L. Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967 Combat Operations (1998), official US Army history;
  • McMaster, H. R. Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam (1997). excerpt and text search
  • Military History Institute of Vietnam, Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975 (2002), 484pp; Hanoi's official historyexcerpt and text search
  • Pape, Robert A. "Coercive Air Power in the Vietnam War," International Security (1990) 15: 103-146; in JSTOR
  • Shulimson, Jack. The Marine War: III MAF in Vietnam, 1965-1971 (1996), short history online edition
  • Shulimson, Jack, Lieutenant Colonel Leonard A. Blasiol, and Charles R. Smith. US Marines in Vietnam, 1968: The Defining Year (1997) online
  • Smith. John. Rolling Thunder: The Strategic Bombing Campaign, North Vietnam 1965-1968 (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Sorley, Lewis. Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command (1998).
  • Sorley, Lewis. Thunderbolt: General Creighton Abrams and the Army of His Times (1992)
  • Sorley ; Lewis. A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and the Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam (1999), based on hundreds of interviews excerpt and text search
  • Spector, Ronald H. Advice and Support: The Early Years, 1941-1960 (2005)
  • Spector, Ronald H. After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam (1994) excerpt and text search
  • Stanton. Shelby L. The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973 (1985)
  • Summers, Harry G. On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (1982), influential interpretation excerpt and text search; also online edition
  • Thayer, Thomas C. War Without Fronts (1985), statistical.
  • Thompson, James Clay. Rolling Thunder: Understanding Policy and Program Failure (1980).
  • Willbanks, James H. The Tet Offensive: A Concise History (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Zaffiri, Samuel. Westmoreland: A Biography of General William C. Westmoreland (1994)

Politics and diplomacy

  • Berman, Larry. Lyndon Johnson's War: The Road to Stalemate (1991). online edition
  • Bundy, William P. Tangled Web: The Making of Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency (1998) excerpt and text search
  • Daum, Andreas W. Lloyd C. Gardner, and Wilfried Mausbach, eds. America, the Vietnam War, and the World: Comparative and International Perspectives, (2003) 371 pp. essays by scholars
  • Freedman, Lawrence. Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Friedman, Michael Jay "Congress, the President, and the Battle of Ideas: Vietnam Policy, 1965-1969, " Essays in History (1999), online
  • Hanhimäki, Jussi M.'Dr. Kissinger' or 'Mr. Henry'? Kissingerology, Thirty Years and Counting." Diplomatic History 2003 27(5): 637-676 full text at EBSCO
  • Jacobs, Seth. Cold War Mandarin: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Origins of America's War in Vietnam, 1950-1963. (2006). 207 pp.
  • Kahin, George McTurnan. Intervention: how America became involved in Vietnam (1986) online at ACLS e-books
  • Kaiser, David. American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War (2000). excerpt and text search
  • Logevall, Frederik. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam (1999). excerpt and text search
  • Smith, R. B. The International History of the Vietnam War (3 vol. 1991)
  • Willbanks, James H. Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War. (2004). 384 pp.

Literature, memoirs, films, memory

  • Appy, Christian. Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides. (2003). 491 pp.
  • Bradley, Mark Philip. Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919-1950 (2001)
  • Clymer, Kenton J., ed. The Vietnam War: Its History, Literature and Music. (1998). 195 pp.
  • Hammond, William M. Public Affairs: The Military and the Media, 1968-1973 (1996)
  • Heineman, Kenneth. "The Silent Majority Speaks: Antiwar Protest and Backlash, 1965-1972," Peace & Change (1992) 17: 402-433.
  • Herr, Michael. Dispatches (1977), a novel
  • Hillstrom, Kevin, and Laurie Collier Hillstrom. The Vietnam Experience: A Concise Encyclopedia of American Literature, Songs, and Films (1998) excerpt and text search
  • Tai, Hue-Tam Ho. The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Taylor, Mark. The Vietnam War in History, Literature and Film. (2003). 160 pp.
  • Willbanks, James H. Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War (2004) excerpt and text search


  • Anderson, David L. Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War (2004). excerpt and text search
  • Dunn, Joe P. "In Search of Lessons: The Development of Vietnam Historiography," in Lloyd J. Matthews, and Dale E. Brown. eds. Assessing the Vietnam War (1987), 19-31
  • Fisher, Christopher T. "Nation Building and the Vietnam War: A Historiography." Pacific Historical Review, Aug 2005, Vol. 74 Issue 3, p441-456,
  • Herman, Arthur. Who Owns the Vietnam War?" Commentary, (Dec 2007), Vol. 124, Issue 5; full text in EBSCO
  • Hess, Gary R. "The Military Perspective on Strategy in Vietnam." Diplomatic History1986) 10: 91-106;
  • Moyar, Mark. "Vietnam: Historians at War." Academic Questions, Spring 2008, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p37-51, by conservative historian
  • Taylor, Mark. The Vietnam War in History, Literature and Film. (2003). 160 pp.

Primary sources

  • Abrams, Creighton. Vietnam Chronicles: The Abrams Tapes, 1968-1972 (2004), 917pp; edited by Lewis Sorley; primary source; transcripts of briefings and meetings of Abrams as in Vietnam from 1968-72, especially the Weekly Intelligence Estimate Update. excerpt and text search
  • Barrett, David M. ed. Lyndon B. Johnson's Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection (1997)
  • The Pentagon Papers (Gravel ed. 5 vol 1971); combination of narrative and secret documents compiled by Pentagon. excerpts
  • US Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-1968. Vietnam (4 vol 1992-98) The single richest collection of U.S. source materials, with complete text of major documents; vol 1 1964-1968; vol 2 January-June 1965; vol 3 June-December 1965; vol 4 1966

Memoirs and oral history

  • Appy, Christian G. Vietnam a New History of the Conflict from All Sides: The Definitive Oral History (2008) 608 pages
  • Moore, Harold. We were soldiers once, and young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed The War In Vietnam, (1992)
  • Thi, Lam Quang. The Twenty-Five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon (2002), online edition.
  • Truong, Nhu Tang. A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath (1986), memoir by former NLF Minister of Justice. excerpt and text search
  • Westmoreland, William C. Westmoreland, A Soldier Reports (1976),