100 books like Enduring Vietnam

By James Wright,

Here are 100 books that Enduring Vietnam fans have personally recommended if you like Enduring Vietnam. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Death Comes for the Archbishop

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Who am I?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

I read Death Comes for the Archbishop when I was fifteen. It was my first encounter with literary prose that was not assigned by a teacher, and it changed my life for the better by giving me a better understanding of myself and the human drama. I thought at the time: This is the best book I ever read. I re-read the novel in 2017 and thought: This is the best book I ever read. There’s no sex in it, but it’s a love story between two men. Cather’s novel has guided my work as a writer for more than sixty-five years.

By Willa Cather,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Death Comes for the Archbishop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the most highly acclaimed novelists of the twentieth century—"a truly remarkable book" (The New York Times),an epic—almost mythic—story of a single human life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.

In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes to serve as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory of red hills and tortuous arroyos, American by law but Mexican and Indian in custom and belief. In the almost forty years that follow, Latour spreads his faith in the only way he knows—gently, all the while contending with an unforgiving landscape,…


Book cover of Remembrance of Things Past

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Who am I?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

I didn’t come into contact with Remembrance of Things Past until I was in my late twenties—and was immediately turned off. I thought, what a windbag and slammed the book shut. Later, I gave it another try. Then another. I never did finish Swann's Way and the other novels in Remembrance of Things Past. And yet Proust remains not only a powerful influence on my writing, but a guide in the practice of good prose. What has stayed with me were Proust’s long gorgeous sentences. Any time my writing slackens, or my vision falters, I pick up Proust. I read those long long sentences with my lips moving. They inspire me. They make me pay attention to the most important craft element in the writer’s tool kit—the sentence.

By Marcel Proust, CK Scott Moncrieff (translator), Terence Kilmartin (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the French intellectual, novelist, essayist, and one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century: The first two volumes of his monumental achievement, Swann’s Way and Within a Budding Grove.  

The famous overture to Swann's Way sets down the grand themes that govern In Search of Lost Time: as the narrator recalls his childhood in Paris and Combray, exquisite memories, long since passed—his mother’s good-night kiss, the water lilies on the Vivonne, his love for Swann’s daughter Gilberte—spring vividly into being. In Within a Budding Grove—which won the Prix Goncourt in 1919, bringing the author instant fame—the narrator turns…


Book cover of Fer-de-lance

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Who am I?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

In 1967 I worked for seven months at DePaul psychiatric hospital in New Orleans, LA as an attendant during the 11 pm to 7 am shift. During that time period, there was often nothing to do but stay awake, because schizophrenics, like everybody else, usually sleep through the night. There was a tiny library in the "Seton Unit" section of the hospital where I worked that featured a dozen or more Nero Wolfe murder mysteries by Rex Stout. I read them all, some of them more than once. The books brought me back to my late childhood years when I read all of the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. What fascinated me about both these sets of books later when I became a writer was the relationships between the storytellers (John Watson/Archie Goodwin) and the larger-than-life detectives (Sherlock Holmes/Nero Wolfe). They acted like bickering but loving married couples while…

By Rex Stout,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fer-de-lance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As any herpetologist will tell you, the fer-de-lance is among the most dreaded snakes known to man.  When someone makes a present of one to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's getting dreadully close to solving the devilishly clever murders of an immigrant and a college president.  As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case with more twists than an anaconda -- whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer who's still got poison in his heart.


Book cover of The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution

Ernest Hebert Author Of Whirlybird Island

From my list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers.

Who am I?

For me, writing novels is an attempt in metaphor to clear the ledger of unfinished business in my crazy, contradictory, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always messy mind. All the books I've written have long and often intensely personal backstories. All of us live two lives, a life in the world of things, relationships, and time (needs), and a life in the world we create in our minds (wants). When needs and wants come into conflict we have the elements that make a novel. I see my job as a novelist to provide an exciting story and plot that carries a reader through the material world.

Ernest's book list on creating empathy and self-knowledge in readers

Ernest Hebert Why did Ernest love this book?

The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution has haunted me since I read it fifteen or so years ago. The book is about a woman, never comfortable in her skin, who participated in an experiment in the 1920s to turn her into a man. Kennedy informs us in dispassionate and informative language about the early technology that eventually led to today's transsexual revolution. But the part of the book that moved me more deeply was Kennedy's ability to report the huge emotional toll that Laura (later, Michael) Dillon paid as a pioneer in the movement. My own friendship with a gutsy coed who became a gutsy man along with Pagan Kennedy's book led me to create Trinity Landrieu, the larger-than-life detective in my book. That's how it goes with me: my writing is a homage to my experiences in…

By Pagan Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the 1920s, when Laura Dillon felt like a man trapped in a woman's body, there were no words to describe her condition; transsexual had yet to enter common usage. And there was no known solution to being stuck between the sexes. In a desperate bid to feel comfortable in her own skin, she experimented with breakthrough technologies that ultimately transformed the human body and revolutionized medicine.
Michael Dillon's incredible story, from upper-class orphan girl to Buddhist monk, reveals the struggles of early transsexuals and challenges conventional notions of what gender really means.


Book cover of The Magnificent Bastards: The Joint Army-Marine Defense of Dong Ha, 1968

Wendell Affield Author Of Muddy Jungle Rivers: A river assault boat cox'n's memory journey of his war in Vietnam

From my list on the Vietnam war that explore waste and loss.

Who am I?

As I write this, I massage aching bits of shrapnel still embedded beneath silvered scars. I’ve read many Vietnam War stories—praising the war, glorifying combat, condemning the war. My stories are 1st person limited POV, voice of a twenty-year-old sailor. My title is a spin-off of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. By the time I wrote my memoir, I realized that our national goals in Vietnam had been Muddy from the beginning. I too, traveled Jungle Rivers. During my time on the riverboat, I witnessed Rivers of blood—rivers of life, trickle across our deck. And yes, Jungle is a fitting metaphor for our life at that time.

Wendell's book list on the Vietnam war that explore waste and loss

Wendell Affield Why did Wendell love this book?

My river boat division (Mobile Riverine Force Division 112) patrolled the Cua Viet River just south of the DMZ between North and South Vietnam during the timeline of this book so I could very much relate to the events, though the Marines took much heavier casualties than our boats did. Keith Nolan does an excellent job documenting the battles—as I read, I relived the bomb and strafing runs done by the navy aircraft carrier F-4 Phantoms (which I also wrote about in my memoir) Nolan’s very detailed account of the Marine battles on the north side of the river answered many decades-old questions for me. His use of dialogue and insights into the Marines keep the reader engrossed. 

By Keith Nolan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On April 29, 1968, the North Vietnamese Army is spotted less than four miles from the U.S. Marines’ Dong Ha Combat Base. Intense fighting develops in nearby Dai Do as the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, known as “the Magnificent Bastards,” struggles to eject NVA forces from this strategic position.

Yet the BLT 2/4Marines defy the brutal onslaught. Pressing forward, America’s finest warriors rout the NVA from their fortress-hamlets–often in deadly hand-to-hand combat.At the end of two weeks of desperate, grinding battles, the Marines and the infantry battalion supporting them are torn to shreds. But against all odds, they beat back…


Book cover of Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War

Andrew Wiest Author Of The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam

From my list on the Vietnam War from different POVs.

Who am I?

I was always fascinated by the Vietnam War since my older sister’s friends went off to fight in it. After getting my PhD and writing about World War I and World War II, I returned to Vietnam by getting involved with veterans groups and taking veterans and students to Vietnam. Since then I have written widely on the topic, teach about the Vietnam War, and have been involved in several major Vietnam War documentaries for outlets including the History Channel and National Geographic Channel. From those early days I have read everything I can get my hands on about the war, about my generation’s war.

Andrew's book list on the Vietnam War from different POVs

Andrew Wiest Why did Andrew love this book?

A perfect example of what a well-researched and written academic book on the Vietnam War should be.  Abandoning Vietnam tells the critical story of the military side of how America exited its conflict in Vietnam. In most western books on the Vietnam War, our allies in Vietnam, the South Vietnamese, are missing. But this book makes clear South Vietnam’s manifold strengths and clear weaknesses and why our alliance with them failed. The failure of that alliance not only cost more than 50,000 American lives but cost the Vietnamese millions and cost South Vietnam its very life. 

We like to forget what happened there in the wake of our defeat, but this book won’t let you forget. Reading this pushed me to write my own book to further the story.

By James H. Willbanks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To achieve this goal, America poured millions of dollars into training and equipping the South Vietnamese military while attempting to pacify the countryside. Precisely how this strategy was implemented and why it failed so completely are the subjects of this eye-opening study. Drawing upon both archival research and his own military experiences in Vietnam, Willbanks focuses on military operations from 1969 through 1975. He contends that Vietnamization was a potentially viable plan that was begun years too late.


Book cover of The Vietnam War Reexamined

James McLeroy Author Of Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc

From my list on the Vietnam War from a commando who served there.

Who am I?

In 1965, I voluntarily enlisted in the Army as a draft exempt, 26-year-old high school teacher. After completing the infantry officer, airborne, ranger, jumpmaster, special forces, and jungle warfare courses, in 1967 I was assigned to a Special Forces A-team in I Corps, Vietnam. In 1968, I volunteered for SOG, a top-secret recon-commando unit at a small, remote SF jungle camp that was later attacked by 3,000 to 4,000 North Vietnamese Army troops. With a master’s degree in history, I have since studied all aspects of the Vietnam War. Gregory Sanders, also a Vietnam veteran, and I researched, wrote, and in 2019 published a unique tactical, operational, and strategic narrative and analysis of that battle titled BAIT: the Battle of Kham Duc

James' book list on the Vietnam War from a commando who served there

James McLeroy Why did James love this book?

The Vietnam War cannot be understood without understanding two opposing groups of historians of it: the orthodox and the revisionist. This is the most concise, balanced, and objective analysis of those contradictory versions of the war. The leftist version is an anti-war, anti-U.S. military, anti-South Vietnamese government interpretation that sees the war as unwinnable and morally shameful U.S. imperialism. It rejects all revisionist arguments to the contrary, such as the difference between the U.S. political failure in America and the U.S. military success in Vietnam, as "conservative counterfactual speculation".

By Michael G. Kort,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Going beyond the dominant orthodox narrative to incorporate insight from revisionist scholarship on the Vietnam War, Michael G. Kort presents the case that the United States should have been able to win the war, and at a much lower cost than it suffered in defeat. Presenting a study that is both historiographic and a narrative history, Kort analyzes important factors such as the strong nationalist credentials and leadership qualities of South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem; the flawed military strategy of 'graduated response' developed by Robert McNamara; and the real reasons South Vietnam collapsed in the face of a massive North…


Book cover of Armed with Abundance: Consumerism and Soldiering in the Vietnam War

Doug Bradley Author Of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War

From my list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note.

Who am I?

Until today’s multiple catastrophes, the Vietnam War was the most harrowing moment in the lives of my fellow baby boomers and me. Drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1970, I spent 365 days in Vietnam as a combat correspondent. That experience changed my life, because as the Argentinian writer Jose Narosky has pointed out, “in war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” I have spent the past five decades trying to heal those wounds, writing three books grounded in my Vietnam experience, and have devoted my life to listening to the voices of our veterans, distilling their memories (often music-based), and sharing their words. 

Doug's book list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note

Doug Bradley Why did Doug love this book?

How music became so readily available to Vietnam soldiers is emphasized in Armed with Abundance. Trying to remedy the tenuous morale among GIs, the U.S. military provided them with “creature comforts” in an effort to make war easier, and certainly more palatable. Lair finds that consumption and satiety, more so than privation and sacrifice, defined the experience of most soldiers' Vietnam deployments. She reveals that in 1969 and 1970, for example, soldiers purchased nearly 500,000 radios, 178,000 reel-to-reel tape decks, and 220,000 cassette recorders. Rock and roll was there to stay! 

By Meredith H. Lair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Popular representations of the Vietnam War tend to emphasize violence, deprivation, and trauma. By contrast, in Armed with Abundance, Meredith Lair focuses on the noncombat experiences of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, redrawing the landscape of the war so that swimming pools, ice cream, visits from celebrities, and other "comforts" share the frame with combat.

To address a tenuous morale situation, military authorities, Lair reveals, wielded abundance to insulate soldiers - and, by extension, the American public - from boredom and deprivation, making the project of war perhaps easier and certainly more palatable. The result was dozens of overbuilt bases in…


Book cover of Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965

Neal Thompson Author Of Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991

From my list on America’s path through the Cold War.

Who am I?

I entered the United States Army in August 1970, two months after graduation from high school, completed flight school on November 1971, and served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot in Troop F (Air), 8th US Cavalry, 1st Aviation Brigade. After my discharge, I served an additional 28 years as a helicopter pilot in the Illinois National Guard, retiring in 2003. I graduated from Triton Junior College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University Law School in 1981. My passion for this subject arises, as one would expect, from my status as a veteran. My expertise is based on my own experience and 16 years of research and writing that went into the preparation of my book.

Neal's book list on America’s path through the Cold War

Neal Thompson Why did Neal love this book?

Moyar does an excellent job of debunking the myths surrounding this country’s failure to secure an independent, non-communist South Vietnam. From the “Bright and Shining Lie” of the vaunted Saigon press corps to the supposed incompetence of Ngo Dinh Diem, Moyar demonstrates that the orthodox narrative is false and that the loss of Vietnam was the result of decisions made in Washington rather than dysfunction in Saigon.  

By Mark Moyar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken, first published in 2007, overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States. The book provides many insights into the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and demonstrates that the coup negated the South Vietnamese government's tremendous, and hitherto unappreciated, military and political gains between 1954 and 1963. After Diem's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson had at his disposal several aggressive policy options…


Book cover of Friends, and Country: A Memoir

Jessica Frazier Author Of Women's Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War Era

From my list on women and the US war in Vietnam.

Who am I?

I fell into researching women’s antiwar activism during the U.S. war in Vietnam by chance when I came across evidence of middle-aged American women traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia in 1965 to meet with women from North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front—the enemies of the United States at the time. Discovering that some of these same U.S. women (and many others), would later travel to Hanoi despite the United States conducting extensive bombing raids over North Vietnam, despite travel to North Vietnam being prohibited, and despite some of the women having young children at home, simply astounded me, and I had to find out more.

Jessica's book list on women and the US war in Vietnam

Jessica Frazier Why did Jessica love this book?

As the representative of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam at the Paris Peace Conference, Nguyen Thi Binh inspired women’s rights activists around the world. Charged with forwarding efforts toward people-to-people diplomacy, Binh met with antiwar activists from all over the world, including the United States, as she negotiated for peace through official channels. With Binh’s high-level position, the reality of her experiences have often been obscured and misconstrued by people on all sides of the U.S. war in Vietnam. Thus, her memoir provides much-needed insight into her family background, her role in resisting France, her leadership in the National Liberation Front during the U.S. war, and her position in the Vietnamese government following the fall of Saigon.

This book is hard to find and only available in Vietnam currently.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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