100 books like Legend

By Eric Blehm,

Here are 100 books that Legend fans have personally recommended if you like Legend. 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 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 Last Stand at Khe Sanh: The U.S. Marines' Finest Hour in Vietnam

John Podlaski Author Of Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel

From my list on about the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantryman in Vietnam with both the 25th ID and the 101st Airborne. Curiosity about what other units did during the war drove me to read about their exploits and learn about what else took place outside of my little part of the war. I am also the admin of a website dedicated to the Vietnam War and its Warriors. My intent over the last eleven years is to educate the public and continue our legacy.  

John's book list on about the Vietnam War

John Podlaski Why did John love this book?

The Last Stand at Khe Sanh was an intriguing read that documented the 77-day siege of the Marine basecamp. It seems like the author took the after-action reports about the events and then humanized the report and breaking it down to squad-level action to make it more readable. I especially like how he listed names of personnel and followed them through the battle where they either portrayed valor or shows how they died. My close friend, Doc Cecala was wounded during an ambush while on a patrol with B 1/26; most of his platoon was killed and at least half of the second which came to reinforce them. Shot in the shoulder and legs, he managed to crawl back to the gates of the firebase and be rescued.

The book also does justice to the hill fights surrounding the base, showing how they worked through their difficulties: ground attacks, incoming,…

By Gregg Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Stand at Khe Sanh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Last Stand at Khe Sanh is a vivid, fast-paced account of the dramatic 1968 confrontation, when 6,000 US Marines held off 30,000 North Vietnamese Army regulars at a remote mountain stronghold. Based on extensive archival research and more than 100 interviews with participants, author Gregg Jones captures the courage and camaraderie of the defenders and delivers the fullest account yet of this epic battle.


Book cover of Marble Mountain: A Vietnam Memoir

John Podlaski Author Of Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel

From my list on about the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantryman in Vietnam with both the 25th ID and the 101st Airborne. Curiosity about what other units did during the war drove me to read about their exploits and learn about what else took place outside of my little part of the war. I am also the admin of a website dedicated to the Vietnam War and its Warriors. My intent over the last eleven years is to educate the public and continue our legacy.  

John's book list on about the Vietnam War

John Podlaski Why did John love this book?

Bud Willis does a wonderful job with this well-told story and offers the reader an in-depth look at the everyday life of these helicopter flying Marine warriors, which isn’t, by the way, a nine to five job. The book follows “BOO” through training and then during his tour as a chopper pilot in Vietnam; his tour lasting 13 months from March, 1966 through April, 1967. The author also has a fantastic sense of humor and wit that sometimes catches me off-guard, making me laugh out loud. When I thought about the antics and games these officers orchestrated – I had to remind myself that even as officers, many of them were only 19 – 21 years old and still kids themselves. However, war steals that naivety and innocence, leaving in its place deep scars, both physically and mentally.

By Bud Willis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marble Mountain presents a personal account of a young man's 1966 combat tour as a Marine helicopter pilot. Of the many books I have read about Vietnam, Marble Mountain wins hand down for its raw honesty, youthful naiveté, and pure readability. Through riveting imagery, Bud Willis finally opens a window of understanding for readers of any age to experience the conflicting drama of one of the most challenging periods of American history. Gripping, heart-wrenching, and realistic, Bud's poignant memoir lingers with the reader well beyond the conclusion of the book with a powerful message that is as relevant today as…


Book cover of Call Sign Dracula

John Podlaski Author Of Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel

From my list on about the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantryman in Vietnam with both the 25th ID and the 101st Airborne. Curiosity about what other units did during the war drove me to read about their exploits and learn about what else took place outside of my little part of the war. I am also the admin of a website dedicated to the Vietnam War and its Warriors. My intent over the last eleven years is to educate the public and continue our legacy.  

John's book list on about the Vietnam War

John Podlaski Why did John love this book?

Readers will follow the author during his acclimation to war and witness his transition from a scared, naïve and inexperienced eighteen-year-old soldier into a skilled, savvy leader within the course of a year. The author shares his memories, both good and bad. I sometimes found myself laughing out loud at some of the antics he and his fellow soldiers pulled. Joe doesn’t pull any punches and tells it like it was…when friends die, it is very hard to keep a stiff upper lip and continue to function as if nothing happened. He also shows us that the military has both good and bad leaders within its ranks, errors in judgment often resulted in the death of many innocent people.

The life of a grunt is difficult, indeed, Call Sign Dracula will educate civilians – infantry veterans will relate.

By Joe Fair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Call Sign Dracula" provides an outstanding, valuable and worthy in-depth look into the life of a US Army Infantry soldier serving with the famed 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) in Vietnam. It is a genuine, firsthand account of a one-year tour that shows how a soldier grew and matured from an awkward, bewildered, inexperienced, eighteen-year-old country “bumpkin” from Kentucky, to a tough, battle hardened, fighting soldier.You will laugh, cry, and stand in awe at the true-life experiences shared in this memoir. The awfulness of battle, fear beyond description, the sorrow and anguish of losing friends, extreme weariness, dealing…


Book cover of West to Cambodia

Johnnie M. Clark Author Of Guns Up!: A Firsthand Account of the Vietnam War

From my list on war and the Marines.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a combat Marine, I believe these books honor the brave men who served and died for America. I joined the Marine Corps at 17 years of age after graduating from St. Petersburg High School. I served as a machine gunner with the famed 5th Marine Regiment during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. I was wounded 3 times by mortar round, grenade, and gunshot. I've written nine books around these subjects as well as an off-Broadway stage play titled The Battle For Nong Son. Many of my books are recommended reading for all newly commissioned officers at The Basic School. I am the recipient of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association Brigadier General Robert L. Denig Memorial Distinguished Service Award for writing, as well as the Silver Star, 3 Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Civil Action Combat Medal, and the Marine Combat Ribbon among other decorations.

Johnnie's book list on war and the Marines

Johnnie M. Clark Why did Johnnie love this book?

Slam Marshall is the author of many books about the American military. He was a Brigadier General and served in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. This book will give the reader a view of what it’s like to fight under the worst possible conditions, under constant surveillance, and over ground where the enemy continually held the advantage. This is a tribute to the GIs who fought those impossible battles.

By S.L.A. Marshall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Marshall, S. L. A.


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

Tom Vater Author Of The Man With The Golden Mind

From my list on Laos and the CIA's covert war there.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited beautiful, land-locked, and sleepy Laos in 2000, as the country reluctantly reemerged from post-revolutionary isolation. I researched and co-wrote The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature documentary on how the CIA created a clandestine army to fight Laotian and Vietnamese communists, rigged elections, and eventually destroyed much of the country with carpet bombing. This slice of secret history forms the narrative backbone of my novel. The Man with the Golden Mind is a spy thriller, as well as an ode to one of the most isolated countries in the world.

Tom's book list on Laos and the CIA's covert war there

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

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.

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


Book cover of Death in the A Shau Valley: L Company LRRPs in Vietnam, 1969-70

Michael Lee Lanning Author Of Inside the LRRPs: Rangers in Vietnam

From my list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served as an infantry platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader, and rifle company commander in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. I was an instructor in the Florida Phase of the U.S. Army Ranger School for two years.

Michael's book list on long range reconnaissance patrols and Rangers In The Vietnam War

Michael Lee Lanning Why did Michael love this book?

An excellent first-person account of being an LRRP in a unit that acted as the eyes and ears of the 101st Airborne Division. Most of his patrols were in the NVA ruled A Shau Valley. Usually outgunned, outmanned, and unsupported, Chambers and his LRRP team performed hundreds of courageous missions. This is a “boots on the ground” story by a real warrior.

By Larry Chambers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death in the A Shau Valley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The enemy had a single purpose: kill me and my teammates.”

Larry Chambers was still new to Vietnam in early 1969 when the LRRPs of the 101st Airborne Division became L Company, 75th (Rangers). But his unit’s mission stayed the same: act as the eyes and ears of the 101st deep in the dreaded A Shau Valley—where the NVA ruled.

Relentless thick fog frequently made fighter bombers useless in the A Shau, and the enemy had furnished the nearby mountaintops with antiaircraft machine guns to protect the massive trail network that snaked through it. So, outgunned, outmanned, and unsupported, the…


Book cover of River of Time: A Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia

Mandaley Perkins Author Of Hanoi, Adieu - A Bitterweet Memoir Of French Indochina

From my list on the French in Vietnam.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the crucial period after the end of WW2 the stage became set for thirty years of war in Vietnam, yet there’s very little written of it. My stepfather was there, and Hanoi, Adieu is a memoir of his experiences and his sentiments about what happened in the country he’d grown to love. I have a fascination for Southeast Asian history and he was keen for me to tell his story such that readers could absorb the history through his book. I have recommended here those I enjoyed and found useful from a historical or atmospheric perspective in the larger context of French Indochina. I hope you will too.

Mandaley's book list on the French in Vietnam

Mandaley Perkins Why did Mandaley love this book?

Personally, I love historical memoirs, real stories from people who were there. Fast forward 14 years of war from the time Michel left Hanoi to dive into the memoir of another who fell for the allure of Vietnam and Cambodia. British journalist Jon Swain was in the region from 1970 to 1975 and saw the horrors committed by the Khmer Rouge when it finally took Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Having been captured by the Khmer Rouge he was saved from execution only by the actions of The New York Times interpreter, Dith Pran. It was this story and experience that inspired the Oscar-winning movie The Killing FieldsThe author’s love for Indochina shines through the pages despite the fact that he is often sickened by the brutality and atrocities he witnessed. He also successfully captures the doomed atmosphere in Saigon as the Americans and the South Vietnamese realise they…

By Jon Swain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A splendid memoir...a tale, at once tragic and beautiful, of love and loss, of coming of age and of witnessing the end of Indochina as the West had known it for more than a century."—Los Angleles Times Book Review. From the writer immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film The Killing Fields.


Book cover of Carrying Cambodia

Tom Vater Author Of The Cambodian Book of the Dead

From my list on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Cambodia in 1995, an ill-fated trip into Koh Kong, then a war-torn backwater town. I returned in 2001 to research a TV documentary about the likely effects of tourism on the Angkor monuments, Cambodia’s tourist magnet. I’ve visited many times since, traveled on trucks, motorbikes, beaten-up Toyotas, and by bicycle, and have written extensively about the southeast Asian kingdom’s post-war recovery, popular culture, tragic politics, and seedy underbelly. Cambodia is a small country, but its turbulent past and uncertain future, along with its wonderful people, touched me like few other places.

Tom's book list on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

Books on Cambodia predominantly cover the communist revolution and genocide. Carrying Cambodia is a different proposition, a photo book that depicts the resourcefulness of ordinary Cambodians in the post-war era. The two authors/photographers spent considerable time on the back of motorbikes cruising the highways and by-ways of Cambodia to capture the incredible efforts its people have to make to get from A to B. Images of trucks, bikes, tuk-tuks, and cyclos unbelievably overloaded with people and produce give a candid impression of the daily struggle of citizens living in unjust, broken societies, but also celebrates a resurging Khmer spirit in the face of incredible challenges.

By Hans Kemp, Conor Wall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Unbelievable feats of transportation are an everyday occurrence on the streets of Cambodia. Tuk-tuks, cyclos, cars, trucks, motorbikes and bicycles transport loads that defy your wildest imagination. Tuk-tuks crammed to the roof with fruit and veg, beaten-up old taxis transporting pigs bigger than people, beds bigger than pigs and water tanks bigger than beds! Six people on one small motorbike, and 67 people standing on the back of a flatbed lorry.

Photographers Hans Kemp and Conor Wall spent hundreds of long, painful hours on the back of motorbikes documenting this unique street culture, resulting in this amazing book loaded with…


Book cover of Extraordinary Justice: Law, Politics, and the Khmer Rouge Tribunals

Naomi Roht-Arriaza Author Of The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights

From my list on bringing dictators and evil men to justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in part in Chile, and when the Pinochet dictatorship started killing and torturing people, I wanted to do something about it. Years later, as a professor of international law, I helped countries figure out what to do after mass atrocities. Seeing how trials in other countries – or in international criminal courts – could break through barriers and make it possible to bring those who killed, tortured, or disappeared thousands of people to justice gave me hope. I wanted to tell the stories of the brave people who overcame the odds to do justice, in a readable and exciting way that also explained the legal and political issues involved. 

Naomi's book list on bringing dictators and evil men to justice

Naomi Roht-Arriaza Why did Naomi love this book?

Etcheson has spent decades working for justice for survivors of the Khmer Rouge massacres of the 1970s. He tells the inside story of the diplomatic, legal, political, and social maneuvering behind the negotiation, setup, and operation of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia. That court, plagued by political interference, only managed to try three defendants, but its legacy went beyond the actual trials, sometimes in surprising ways. The book is engaging and has fascinating details on behind-the-scenes discussions.  

By Craig Etcheson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In just a few short years, the Khmer Rouge presided over one of the twentieth century's cruelest reigns of terror. Since its 1979 overthrow, there have been several attempts to hold the perpetrators accountable, from a People's Revolutionary Tribunal shortly afterward through the early 2000s Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. Extraordinary Justice offers a definitive account of the quest for justice in Cambodia that uses this history to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the interaction between law and politics in war crimes tribunals.

Craig Etcheson, one of the world's foremost…


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