10 books like Cheating Death

By George J. Marrett,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Cheating Death. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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When Thunder Rolled

By Ed Rasimus,

Book cover of When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot Over North Vietnam

Rasimus was an F-105 pilot who flew 100 missions over North Vietnam early in the war when things were really hot. He tells of the courage it took to fly into such a dangerous environment and of some of the pilots who did it.

When Thunder Rolled

By Ed Rasimus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Thunder Rolled as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ed Rasimus straps the reader into the cockpit of an F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bomber in his engaging account of the Rolling Thunder campaign in the skies over North Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1968, more than 330 F-105s were lost—the highest loss rate in Southeast Asia—and many pilots were killed, captured, and wounded because of the Air Force’s disastrous tactics. The descriptions of Rasimus’s one hundred missions, some of the most dangerous of the conflict, will satisfy anyone addicted to vivid, heart-stopping aerial combat, as will the details of his transformation from a young man paralyzed with self-doubt into a battle-hardened veteran.…


The Rescue of Streetcar 304

By Kenny Wayne Fields,

Book cover of The Rescue of Streetcar 304

This is an exciting book by Kenny Fields, a navy pilot who was shot down on his first mission. He came down near a North Vietnamese division in southern Laos and was on the ground for about 50 hours before he was rescued. The story is told from the perspective of the survivor. The NVA and Viet Cong troops had recently participated in the siege of Khe Sanh, and were back in the (for them) sanctuary of Laos.

The Rescue of Streetcar 304

By Kenny Wayne Fields,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rescue of Streetcar 304 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On 31 May 1968, Lt. Kenny Fields catapulted off USS America in his A-7 for his first combat mission. His target was in Laos, which at the time was `officially' off limits for US attacks. What the planners did not know was that Fields and his wingman were en route to a massive concentration of AAA gun sites amidst an entire North Vietnamese division.

Fields, who used the call sign`Streetcar 304', was the first to roll in, and he destroyed his target with a direct hit. Three AAA guns began to fire, but, following his wingman, he rolled in again.…


Surviving Hell

By Leo Thorsness,

Book cover of Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey

In the introduction of this most life-altering book I’ve ever read, Leo Thorsness states he didn’t write this memoir merely to describe the horrid treatment he and others endured as prisoners of war in Vietnam. He wrote it to remind us to count our blessings. Food. Clean water. Protection from elements. Freedom from torture. Medical treatment. Safety. Companionship. I wish I could relay to him how successfully he met his goal. Since reading Surviving Hell, I am never far from the thought of how fortunate I am. He repeated an old adage that has become one of my favorites. “If a man has enough to eat, he has a lot of problems. If he doesn’t, he has only one.”

Surviving Hell

By Leo Thorsness,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Surviving Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On April 19, 1967, Air Force Colonel Leo Thorsness was on a mission over North Vietnam when his wingman was shot down by an enemy MiG, which then lined up for a gunnery pass on the two American pilots who had bailed out. Although his F 105 was not designed for aerial combat, Thorsness engaged the MiG and destroyed it. Spotting four more MiGs, he fought his way through a barrage of North Vietnamese SAMs to engage them too, shooting down one and driving off the others. For this action, Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor. But he didn't…


Rescue Pilot

By Dan McKinnon,

Book cover of Rescue Pilot: Life-Saving At-Sea Navy Helicopter Missions

Dan McKinnon was a navy helicopter pilot who was airborne near an aircraft carrier during flight operations so pilots who had mishaps could be quickly and safely recovered. This is a story about an unusual type of flying, one that provides another layer of safety for naval operations at sea.

Rescue Pilot

By Dan McKinnon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rescue Pilot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Dan McKinnon, extraordinary helicopter pilot, brings alive the excitement and occasional terror of rescue at sea. An exciting hair raising and reverting tale of the largely untold story of helicopter resuces at sea' - Neil Armstrong, Astronaut. 'Just Great. It's going to be of tremendous interest to all naval helicopter pilots present and future and to the people who want to know more about this aspect of military flight. Boy, you've unleashed a flood of memories' - Bill Stuyvesant, legendary navy helo pilot. A daring Cold-War warrior recounts the thrills of high-sea helicopter rescue missions. Within the pages of "Rescue…


The Ravens

By Christopher Robbins,

Book cover of The Ravens: The True Story Of A Secret War In Laos, Vietnam

The Ravens were young Air Force pilots, all volunteers, who flew tiny Cessna O-1 Bird Dog spotter planes through heavy groundfire to identify targets and call in air-strikes during the top-secret war in northern Laos. Their mission was so secret that they wore no uniforms and carried no identification. Fed up with the bureaucracy of the war in Vietnam, these young FACs accepted the 50% casualty rates of what was known as the Steve Canyon Program in return for a life of unrestricted flying and fighting. Devoted to the CIA-sponsored hill tribesmen they supported, the Ravens did their job with extraordinary skill and raw courage. This is their story, brilliantly told in Christopher Robbins. Based on extensive interviews with the survivors, it is a tale of undeniable heroism, blending real-life romance, adventure, and tragedy.

The Ravens

By Christopher Robbins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ravens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on materials that were, until recently, classified, this account depicts the intense air war fought over Laos and profiles the "Ravens," the pilots who risked their lives in this little-known field of war.


A Dragon Apparent

By Norman Lewis,

Book cover of A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam

This classic travel book, first published in 1951, is said to have inspired Graham Greene to travel to Vietnam and to write The Quiet American, the greatest piece of fiction on white men in Southeast Asia. It is also a charming and charmed eyewitness account of the dying days of the French colonial occupation of Indochina which makes A Dragon Apparent a document so much of its time that readers might it find quaint, patronizing, and perhaps a little racist. The locals don’t come away very well but neither does the author who barely speaks to them. That said, Lewis’ observations of Luang Prabang are worth revisiting.

A Dragon Apparent

By Norman Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dragon Apparent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

a poignant description of Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam in 1950, with all their beauty, gentleness, grandeur and intricate political balance intact - Restores this lost world, like a phoenix, from the ashes of the Vietnam war and its aftermath - shows the Vietnamese guerilla movement in its infancy, ranged against the French colonial powers, and the early affects of imported Western materialism - a best-seller when first published, and venerated by all the Saigon-based war correspondents in the '70s - inspired Graham Greene to go to Vietnam and write The Quiet American


Charlie Mike

By Leonard B. Scott,

Book cover of Charlie Mike

In this novel, Leonard Scott utilizes his experience as a U.S. Army officer to tell a story about five people involved in the Vietnam War. One is an NCO with the 75th Rangers. Another is a rebellious rich girl who joins the Red Cross and volunteers for duty in Vietnam. The third is a company commander for the 75th Rangers, and the fourth is a young North Vietnamese Army Platoon leader. Scott’s book weaves an exceptionally well told saga and became one of my five choices because it captures the essence (or if you will: the grotesque stench) of the war in Vietnam from several perspectives, including that of an enemy soldier.

Charlie Mike

By Leonard B. Scott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Charlie Mike as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If war may be said to bring out the worst in governments, it frequently brings out the best in people. This is a novel about some of the very best. Some led. Some followed. Some died.

“One of the finest novels yet written about the war in Vietnam.”—The Washington Post

Sergeant David Grady: Leader of Ranger Team 2-2, the Double Deuce, he was a perfectionist who loved his men, his team, and his Army. For a long time they had been his whole world.

Sarah Boyce: Cold. Beautiful. For all her life, she'd been her whole world. She thought she…


The Sorrow of War

By Bảo Ninh,

Book cover of The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam

Much of America’s voluminous literature, scholarship, and films on the Vietnam War focus on the suffering of American G.I.s. This novel takes us into the heart of a North Vietnamese soldier struggling with PTSD. It is a gripping, wrenching tale of lives uprooted, futures destroyed, and dreams torn apart. It is a story that humanizes those seen as enemies: average people caught in the madness of war.

The Sorrow of War

By Bảo Ninh,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Sorrow of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the semi-autobiographical account of a soldier's experiences. The hero of the story, Kien, is a captain. After 10 years of war and months as a MIA body-collector, Kien suffers a nervous breakdown in Hanoi as he tries to re-establish a relationship with his former sweetheart.


Vietnam

By Gareth Porter (editor),

Book cover of Vietnam: A History in Documents

If you are a serious student of history then you will be fascinated by this book because it tells a story in letters and official documents of how events in Vietnam unfolded the way they did. The book is a history of communications and policy documents between all the key decision-makers from the end of the 2nd World War in 1945 through two more wars, one with the French and another with the United States, ending in 1975. It reminds us how easily things could have swung a different way and, for me, raises many questions. Could thirty years of war have been avoided had there not been a power vacuum in North Vietnam at the end of WW2 when the French military was left in incarceration by the small anti-colonial US occupation force, leading to the outbreak of violence and chaos between Nationalist Vietnamese, Communists posing as Nationalists,…

Vietnam

By Gareth Porter (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

By General Harold Moore, Joseph Galloway,

Book cover of We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

This book is a complex but excellent read. It is laced with moments of sheer bravery and interludes of absolute terror. Lt. Colonel Hal Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division—part of the “The Garryowen” Brigade. This book covers the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley during the early years of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, in November 1965. The first major engagement between the forces of North Vietnam and the United States. I want to highlight one thing in the book, “The country that sent us off to war was not there to welcome us home. It no longer existed.” While good in its own right, the movie does not do the book justice. Read this book.

We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

By General Harold Moore, Joseph Galloway,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked We Were Soldiers Once... and Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'If you want to know what is was like to go to Vietnam as a young American... and find yourself caught in ferocious, remorseless combat with an enemy as courageous and idealistic as you were, then you must read this book. Moore and Galloway have captured the terror and exhilaration, the comradeship and self-sacrifice, the brutality and compassion that are the dark heart of war' THE TIMES

THE MUST READ CLASSIC OF THE VIETNAM WAR

In November 1965, 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt.Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small…


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Interested in Vietnam, Laos, and the Vietnam War?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Vietnam, Laos, and the Vietnam War.

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