90 books like In That Time

By Daniel H. Weiss,

Here are 90 books that In That Time fans have personally recommended if you like In That Time. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Christopher Goscha Author Of Vietnam: A New History

From my list on memoirs on the Vietnam Wars from a Vietnamese perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who hasn’t seen the classic American movies on the Vietnam War–Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, or Platoon? They are fine films, but have you ever asked yourself where the Vietnamese are? Save for a few stereotyped cameo appearances, they are remarkably absent. I teach the history of the wars in Vietnam at the Université du Québec à Montréal. My students and I explore the French and the American sides in the wars for Vietnam, but one of the things that I’ve tried to do with them is weave the Vietnamese and their voices into our course; this list provides a window into those Vietnamese voices. 

Christopher's book list on memoirs on the Vietnam Wars from a Vietnamese perspective

Christopher Goscha Why did Christopher love this book?

This is an autobiographical novel that will change your perspective on the Vietnam War. The protagonist of the story, Kien, leaves Hanoi to join the ranks of those going south to liberate the country from the Americans and their South Vietnam allies.

It’s 1965. The Americans are invading. Scores of young men and women like Kien march off in a great patriotic wave from the North to save the South. The patriotic groundswell doesn’t last long though, as Bao Ninh plunges us into the brutality of the Vietnam War.

Through Kien, we discover for the first time what the experience of war was for the other side without the patriotic glitz. It’s not pretty, and yet Bao Ninh succeeds in humanizing the North Vietnamese soldier before our eyes.

It makes for a very powerful read. And like so many other soldiers making it home alive, the return to civilian life…

By Bảo Ninh,

Why should I read it?

6 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.


Book cover of Hanoi's War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam

James McLeroy Author Of Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

This is the only insider, in-depth analysis of the North Vietnamese Politburo and its effective leader, Le Duan, from 1960 to 1975. Because the author is a native Vietnamese speaker, an academic historian,  and opposes the U.S. role in the war she was allowed by the Communist government to spend years in North Vietnam researching in previously closed archives. Her book, published in the U.S. free of censorship, is not Communist propaganda. It is a unique, objectively critical, revisionist analysis of the men who started and controlled the “war for peace” from beginning to end. 

By Lien-Hang T. Nguyen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hanoi's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While most historians of the Vietnam War focus on the origins of U.S. involvement and the Americanization of the conflict, Lien-Hang T. Nguyen examines the international context in which North Vietnamese leaders pursued the war and American intervention ended. This riveting narrative takes the reader from the marshy swamps of the Mekong Delta to the bomb-saturated Red River Delta, from the corridors of power in Hanoi and Saigon to the Nixon White House, and from the peace negotiations in Paris to high-level meetings in Beijing and Moscow, all to reveal that peace never had a chance in Vietnam.

Hanoi's War…


Book cover of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Robert Stewart Author Of No Greater Duty

From my list on duty and courage in peace and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fortunate to write and publish three books on America’s service academies: two on the U.S. Naval Academy, and one on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The two nonfiction books were appealing photographic and narrative presentations of academy life at Navy and West Point. The third, my debut novel happening at the Naval Academy, is an inspiring tale of moral courage and dedication to duty with war and peacetime conflicts. Each book was a rewarding creative project.

Robert's book list on duty and courage in peace and war

Robert Stewart Why did Robert love this book?

Matterhorn is one of the most memorable works of realistic fiction written about The Vietnam War. The author and a Marine infantry officer, decorated for valor during combat several times in duty tours in Vietnam, presents a striking story about the true nature of warfare. The Marines of Bravo Company with whom his protagonist serves present the sheer toil, strength of character, the cost of lost and wounded brothers, unique personalities, moments of weakness and courage, laughter and sadness, brothers-in-arms’ trust, and the will to literally survive until the battle ends and the next one begins. Matterhorn inspired me while I wrote my debut military novel.

By Karl Marlantes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fire Support Base Matterhorn: a fortress carved out of the grey-green mountain jungle. Cold monsoon clouds wreath its mile-high summit, concealing a battery of 105-mm howitzers surrounded by deep bunkers, carefully constructed fields of fire and the 180 marines of Bravo Company. Just three kilometres from Laos and two from North Vietnam, there is no more isolated outpost of America's increasingly desperate war in Vietnam.

Second Lieutenant Waino Mellas, 21 years old and just a few days into his 13-month tour, has barely arrived at Matterhorn before Bravo Company is ordered to abandon their mountain and sent deep in-country in…


Book cover of The Things They Carried

Ellen Birkett Morris Author Of Beware the Tall Grass

From my list on a well-rounded look at Americans touched by the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the Vietnam War because my male relatives served and came back changed by the experience. I spent ten years as the editor of The Patton Saber, writing articles about the experience of World War II soldiers, but when I came across an idea for a novel about past life memories, I decided to focus on memories of the Vietnam War. What I love about this list is that it reflects many facets of the war, including soldiers, nurses, veterans, and the family members touched by those affected by war.

Ellen's book list on a well-rounded look at Americans touched by the Vietnam War

Ellen Birkett Morris Why did Ellen love this book?

O’Brien’s depiction of American soldiers in Vietnam was vivid and moving. It gave me a deeper understanding of the soldier’s experience. His artful use of the metaphor of what they carried revealed not only the items on hand but also the psychological baggage each soldier dealt with.

The stories were haunting and made me a full witness to the complexity of war and the many ways it is experienced. It is artfully written, moving, complex, touching and unforgettable.

By Tim O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked The Things They Carried as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The million-copy bestseller, which is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

'The Things They Carried' is, on its surface, a sequence of award-winning stories about the madness of the Vietnam War; at the same time it has the cumulative power and unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme.

But while Vietnam is central to 'The Things They Carried', it is not simply a book about war. It is also a book about the human heart - about the terrible weight of those things we carry through…


Book cover of Word of Honor

Robert Stewart Author Of No Greater Duty

From my list on duty and courage in peace and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fortunate to write and publish three books on America’s service academies: two on the U.S. Naval Academy, and one on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The two nonfiction books were appealing photographic and narrative presentations of academy life at Navy and West Point. The third, my debut novel happening at the Naval Academy, is an inspiring tale of moral courage and dedication to duty with war and peacetime conflicts. Each book was a rewarding creative project.

Robert's book list on duty and courage in peace and war

Robert Stewart Why did Robert love this book?

Nelson DeMille has written one of the finest fictional works about America’s military justice system operating sometimes fairly, sometimes not to address crimes during war. A riveting present-day story where former U.S. Army lieutenant Ben Tyson is charged with allowing soldiers under his command, years ago in Vietnam, to commit alleged murderous atrocities against innocent civilians. The plot’s general court-martial and backstories are compelling. Lieutenant Tyson and his men’s conduct reveal complex decisions made during combat when taking an individual’s life is either justified or it’s cold-blooded murder. DeMille, a decorated Army officer who deployed for combat tours in Vietnam, knows this firsthand. His book inspired my own military novel presenting questions of moral and ethical courage.

By Nelson DeMille,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Read the gripping story of a Vietnam vet whose secret past threatens his family, career, and honor, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books have sold over 50 million copies worldwide, and is "a true master" (Dan Brown).

He is a good man, a brilliant corporate executive, an honest, handsome family man admired by men and desired by women. But sixteen years ago Ben Tyson was a lieutenant in Vietnam.

There, in 1968, the men under his command committed a murderous atrocity-and together swore never to tell the world what they had done. Not the press, army…


Book cover of Crash Course: From the Good War to the Forever War

Paul Lauter Author Of Our Sixties: An Activist's History

From my list on how we made change in the 1960's.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over the past 50 years, I've been one of those “tenured radicals” the right-wing loved to bash. But before that, during the 1960s, I worked, often full-time, in the social movements that did change America: civil rights, anti-war, feminism. I was older, so I became a “professor-activist.” As a teacher, I applied what I had learned in the movements to reconstruct ideas about which writers mattered—women as well as men, minorities as well as whites: Zora Neale Hurston, Frederick Douglass, Adrienne Rich as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway. Using that principle, I led a team that created a very successful collection, The Heath Anthology of American Literature.     

Paul's book list on how we made change in the 1960's

Paul Lauter Why did Paul love this book?

Want to understand today’s America? Noam Chomsky, Dan Ellsberg, Jane Anne Phillips, Kim Stanley Robinson, John Dower all recommend Crash Course, Bruce Franklin’s 20th book. Bruce went from working on tugboats during the bloody war for control of New York Harbor to flying as Air Force intelligence officer and Arctic navigator. Then he became a major figure in "revolutionary" movements of the sixties and seventies, getting fired from his tenured job. FBI documents reveal efforts “neutralize” him, including framing him for various crimes. This book discloses some of his actual underground activities, including helping to set up a Vietnam deserter network in France. As exciting as a thriller novel, Crash Course rewards readers with its deep analysis of modern American history. 

By Howard Bruce Franklin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Growing up during the Second World War, H. Bruce Franklin believed what he was told: that America’s victory would lead to a new era of world peace. Like most Americans, he was soon led to believe in a world-wide Communist conspiracy that menaced the United States, forcing the nation into a disastrous war in Korea. But once he joined the U.S. Air Force and began flying top-secret missions as a navigator and intelligence officer, what he learned was eye-opening. He saw that even as the U.S. preached about peace and freedom, it was engaging in an endless cycle of warfare,…


Book cover of War Beyond Words: Languages of Remembrance from the Great War to the Present

Shannon Bontrager Author Of Death at the Edges of Empire: Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863-1921

From my list on the memory of the war dead.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor who holds a Ph.D. in American history. I researched several archives in the United States and Paris, France to write this book and I am very proud of it. I was inspired to write this story mainly from listening to the friends of my parents, when I was younger, who went to war in Vietnam and came back broken yet committed to making the world a better place. The kindness they showed me belied the stories they shared of their harrowing experiences and I wanted to understand how this divergence happened in men that rarely spoke of their past.      

Shannon's book list on the memory of the war dead

Shannon Bontrager Why did Shannon love this book?

Some may disagree with me, but I think this is Winter’s masterpiece. It is a book that charts the ways our remembrance of the war dead changed from the violence of the First World War to the Holocaust to the present. He looks at film, photographs, literature, and war memorials to show how our memories have become less vertical and more horizontal over time and how we have focused less and less on the faces of the dead and more and more on the names of the masses, such as one finds on Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. While all of Winter’s works are fantastic, this is his best.

By Jay Winter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What we know of war is always mediated knowledge and feeling. We need lenses to filter out some of its blinding, terrifying light. These lenses are not fixed; they change over time, and Jay Winter's panoramic history of war and memory offers an unprecedented study of transformations in our imaginings of war, from 1914 to the present. He reveals the ways in which different creative arts have framed our meditations on war, from painting and sculpture to photography, film and poetry, and ultimately to silence, as a language of memory in its own right. He shows how these highly mediated…


Book cover of Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From my list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Shane Strate Why did Shane love this book?

The United States may have lost the war against North Vietnam; but it has since defeated the Vietnamese in the war for memory. Nothing Ever Dies is an examination of what Nguyen calls, “The Industry of Memory,” the production and distribution of collective memory in the service of powerful interests. He explains how the United States utilizes memorials, film, and print journalism to promote its own stories of the war while marginalizing Vietnamese narratives. Meanwhile, the post-1975 Vietnamese regime works to erase the memory of South Vietnam. Our goal, he suggests, should be the realization of an ‘ethical memory,’ one that creates space for the remembrance of both ‘us’ and ‘them’. This is a beautifully written, deeply personal, thoughtful discussion of the legacy of a conflict that continues to define both countries.  

By Viet Thanh Nguyen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nothing Ever Dies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award
Finalist, National Book Award in Nonfiction
A New York Times Book Review "The Year in Reading" Selection

All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of the conflict Americans call the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War-a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both nations.

"[A] gorgeous, multifaceted examination of the war Americans call the Vietnam War-and which Vietnamese call the American War...As a writer, [Nguyen] brings…


Book cover of The Forever War

Nathan W. Toronto Author Of Rise of Ahrik

From my list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I care about military SFF because it has the potential to contribute to a just and prosperous society by building bridges of understanding between military professionals and civilians. I've never served in the military, but I taught operations and strategy to US Army officers for six years, after which I went to Abu Dhabi as one of the founding faculty members of the UAE National Defense College. I wrote a book, How Militaries Learn, which is one of the few academic books on civil-military relations to use large-n statistical analysis. I’ve lived in ten countries and I speak four languages, including Arabic.

Nathan's book list on military science fiction and fantasy by veterans

Nathan W. Toronto Why did Nathan love this book?

When I met Joe Haldeman, I was struck by how such an unassuming, witty person could write such a gritty, visceral novel about war. Haldeman served in Vietnam, and (by his own admission) his combat experience shines through in Forever War. Yes, this novel captures combat in unflinching detail, but I’m a former professor of war, so what I really care about is the intriguing interplay of time, space, and war. As captured so well in the short story version of the novel, “Time Piece,” this novel is less about fighting and dying and more about what war over relativistic distances does to society. I love this novel because it says just as much about those who stay home as it does about those who go into combat.

By Joe Haldeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The monumental Hugo and Nebula award winning SF classic-- Featuring a new introduction by John Scalzi

The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand--despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties and do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time…


Book cover of The Conquerors

Scott Menchin Author Of Wiggle

From my list on for funny and artistic young children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a curious Pratt Institute art school professor and loving parent of a daughter who has also written and/or illustrated sixteen children’s books I want to share my favorite books with other children’s book connoisseurs. It also helps that I have lots of opinions. Too many to count. And when someone actually wants to listen to my opinions I get very excited. I’m hoping one of my favorites becomes one of your favorites. 

Scott's book list on for funny and artistic young children

Scott Menchin Why did Scott love this book?

One of my all time favorites and not very well known, this remarkable book deals with a very grown-up topic, war, in such an innocent and simple way that it is somehow a perfect children’s book.

How does one conquering group get taken over by the people they are trying to conquer? Read it and find out! Created by the man who created Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.  

By David McKee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There once was a large country that was ruled by a General. The General would take his army and attack all the countries around him until they were conquered. Eventually, there was only one small country left to conquer. However, this one did not resist but welcomed the soldiers - leading to a quite unexpected result!


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