100 books like The Ravens

By Christopher Robbins,

Here are 100 books that The Ravens fans have personally recommended if you like The Ravens. 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 Street Without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina

Myra MacPherson Author Of Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation

From my list on Vietnam from a multitude of sources.

Who am I?

Myra MacPherson is an acclaimed author of five books and a journalist. She was hired by Ben Bradlee for the Washington Post where she spent twenty years and specialized in politics, in-depth human interest stories, profiles, and covered five presidential campaigns. During four decades of reporting she interviewed famous figures such as Fidel Castro, Helen Keller, and the mother of serial killer, Ted Bundy, as well as several Presidents.  Of all the milestone political moments MacPherson covered nothing impressed friends and family more than the 1964 landmark and legendary first American live concert of the Beatles (in the Nation’s Capital), which propelled them into international fame. MacPherson has continued her long career as a journalist, with articles in national magazines on the internet. Her most current -- Forgotten Father of the Abortion Movement, in The New Republic -- tackles abortion rights, which remains a highly controversial politicized battle nearly a half-century since abortion was declared legal in 1973.

Myra's book list on Vietnam from a multitude of sources

Myra MacPherson Why did Myra love this book?

This brilliant classic of military history and human folly, first published in 1961, should have been read by America’s “best and brightest” architects of America’s 10-year fiasco. French Journalist and historian Bernard Fall vividly captured the sights, sounds, and smells of the brutal conflict between the French and the Communist-led Vietnamese nationalists. I get angry every time I think of the arrogance of America’s leaders who never examined Fall’s insightful warnings of the futility of jungle fighting that would defeat the United States in the bloody years to follow. Fall’s blueprint for disaster graphically shows that even with lethal modern military force, the French could not defeat the hit-and-run tactics, ambushes, booby traps, and nighttime raids that would become drastically familiar to American troops. The final French downfall ended at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Street Without Joy has remained in print for half a century and I stress…

By Bernard B. Fall,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Street Without Joy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1961 by Stackpole Books, Street without Joy is a classic of military history. Journalist and scholar Bernard Fall vividly captured the sights, sounds, and smells of the brutal-- and politically complicated--conflict between the French and the Communist-led Vietnamese nationalists in Indochina. The French fought to the bitter end, but even with the lethal advantages of a modern military, they could not stave off the Viet Minh insurgency of hit-and-run tactics, ambushes, booby traps, and nighttime raids. The final French defeat came at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, setting the stage for American involvement and a far bloodier…


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

Angel Giacomo Author Of The Jackson MacKenzie Chronicles: In the Eye of the Storm

From my list on war that go beyond the battles.

Who am I?

I am a retired police officer, except I don’t write about law enforcement. I write about the military. My degree is in Political Science and History. I am a meticulous researcher. My emphasis has been on the Vietnam War. My father served in both the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard. One of my great uncles served in Africa during WWII. His brother during the Occupation of Germany. I have a step-uncle who spent time as a POW in Laos during the Vietnam War. My step-father served in the Army National Guard, and my step-brother in the U.S. Army, Korea and Ft. Hood.

Angel's book list on war that go beyond the battles

Angel Giacomo Why did Angel love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Best and the Brightest

James Bradley Author Of Flags of Our Fathers

From my list on war and what it all means.

Who am I?

My father, John Bradley, was a veteran and fought on Iwo Jima in World War 2 in 1945. Later I walked in the sands of Iwo Jima and eventually wrote four books about war. I am a New York Times best-selling author and Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood made my first book into a movie, Flags of Our Fathers. I've been traveling in and learning about Asia since 1974, when I attended Sophia University in Tokyo. I am also the host of a podcast called Untold Pacific that mines 40 years of my life to create historical travelogues about the American experience on the other side of the Pacific. 

John and I did a podcast about these book recommendations and if you want to listen to the full episode go here.

James' book list on war and what it all means

James Bradley Why did James love this book?

David Halberstam documents how fools go to war. This book is about the whiz kids that got us into the Vietnam war and ran it under the JFK and the Johnson administrations. The same ones who got us into the Iraq War, the Spanish American War, and so on. There is a quote that I love from this book that effectively says, "they used brilliant policies that defied common sense." And, that sums this all up. These whiz kids ran a war as if it was part of American politics and from thousands of miles away with memos and meetings in DC. They completely screwed it up.

David Halberstam was a correspondent in Saigon and knew these insiders. He wrote about the decision-making that was happening behind closed doors that led to one of our greatest follies. He is a master storyteller and I strongly recommend this book. 

By David Halberstam,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Best and the Brightest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new Foreword by Senator John McCain.

"A rich, entertaining, and profound reading experience.”—The New York Times

Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

Praise for The Best…


Book cover of P.O.W.: A Definitive History of the American Prisoner-Of-War Experience in Vietnam, 1964-1973

Thomas R. Yarborough Author Of A Shau Valor: American Combat Operations in the Valley of Death, 1963-1971

From my list on the Vietnam War (from an Air Force combat pilot).

Who am I?

A decorated Air Force combat pilot, Tom Yarborough served two tours in Vietnam as a forward air controller. After leaving the Air Force he was a professor and department chair at Indiana University and history professor at Northern Virginia Community College. His writing background includes the books Da Nang Diary, winner of the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for the best memoir of 2014, and A Shau Valor, a finalist for the 2016 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award.

Thomas' book list on the Vietnam War (from an Air Force combat pilot)

Thomas R. Yarborough Why did Thomas love this book?

No person who had any feelings about the Vietnam War, pro or con, can in good conscience not read John Hubbell’s P.O.W., a powerful and intense account of American prisoners of war in Vietnam. Hubbell does a masterful job of detailing the incredible courage, heroism, and sacrifice in the face of terrifying torture, starvation, and incredible loneliness. For the POWs, mental and physical pain existed not for hours or days but for months and years; the pain was induced by inept and ignorant captors whose brutality was their government's policy. Above all, P.O.W. is a testament to these American heroes’ bedrock belief in God, self, comrade, and country.

By John G Hubbell, Andrew Jones, Kenneth Y Tomlinson

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"With the first page the book explodes ... a story of fortitude and patriotism to inspire generations of Americans to come." Philadelphia Evening Bulletin "It's to our experience as Blackstone is to the law." Col. George E. "Bud" Day, USAF (Ret.), attorney, former POW and Medal of Honor winner


Book cover of Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos

Richard E. Diller Author Of Firefly: A Skyraider's Story About America's Secret War Over Laos

From my list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat.

Who am I?

I am well qualified to speak of the Vietnam aviation experience because these things happened during my formative years as a pilot, and I was on the “front lines” of seeing and experiencing much of it. In addition, I keep up-to-date with it via reunions and reading stories told by other pilots, and I have met Kenny Fields, George Marrett, and Leo Thorsness.

Richard's book list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat

Richard E. Diller Why did Richard love this book?

George Marrett was in my squadron the year prior to me and we tell of some of the same people. Cheating Death is about search and rescue. Same airplane, different mission. A-1s were taildragger airplanes with a 2,700 horsepower engine, could carry 10,000 pounds of external ordinance, and had two 20mm guns in each wing. It was low and slow compared to a jet and could stay over a survivor for a long time until a rescue was made. The author tells of several exciting rescues of pilots who were shot down deep in enemy territory and explains how it was done.

By George J. Marrett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The colourful characters and daring rescues of downed pilots engaged in the Secret War in North Vietnam and Laos are vividly captured by one who was there, in some of the most exciting stories ever written about aerial combat. Sandy Marrett and his squadron colleagues flew some of the most dangerous air missions of the war as on-scene commanders, in charge of rescuing the scores of US Navy and Air Force pilots shot down over North Vietnam and Laos.


Book cover of The Rescue of Streetcar 304

Richard E. Diller Author Of Firefly: A Skyraider's Story About America's Secret War Over Laos

From my list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat.

Who am I?

I am well qualified to speak of the Vietnam aviation experience because these things happened during my formative years as a pilot, and I was on the “front lines” of seeing and experiencing much of it. In addition, I keep up-to-date with it via reunions and reading stories told by other pilots, and I have met Kenny Fields, George Marrett, and Leo Thorsness.

Richard's book list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat

Richard E. Diller Why did Richard love this book?

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.

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.…


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.

Who am I?

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

Richard E. Diller Author Of Firefly: A Skyraider's Story About America's Secret War Over Laos

From my list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat.

Who am I?

I am well qualified to speak of the Vietnam aviation experience because these things happened during my formative years as a pilot, and I was on the “front lines” of seeing and experiencing much of it. In addition, I keep up-to-date with it via reunions and reading stories told by other pilots, and I have met Kenny Fields, George Marrett, and Leo Thorsness.

Richard's book list on or by pilots in Vietnam who experienced combat

Richard E. Diller Why did Richard love this book?

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.

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.…


Book cover of Charlie Mike

Rick DeStefanis Author Of Valley of the Purple Hearts

From my list on combat soldier’s experience in the Vietnam War.

Who am I?

The Vietnam War was a life changing experience for those who fought it and lived through those times; one that will end only when the last one of them dies. Like so many wars, Vietnam will fade into the distant memory of history as a name, some dates, and a historian’s impersonal commentary. My preparation for that war, my infantry training at Fort Polk, and later as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division as well as my subsequent experience with friends returning from Vietnam have given me the unique ability to experience it through many different perspectives. My goal is to ensure the reader will experience as closely as possible the things they saw.

Rick's book list on combat soldier’s experience in the Vietnam War

Rick DeStefanis Why did Rick love this book?

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.

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…


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

Zachary Shore Author Of A Sense of the Enemy: The High Stakes History of Reading Your Rival's Mind

From my list on knowing your enemy.

Who am I?

I am a historian of international conflict who focuses on understanding the enemy. For most of my career, I have studied why we so often misread others, and how those misperceptions lead to war. The current crisis in Ukraine is just one more example of how the parties involved misunderstood each other. I believe that if we could improve this one ability, we would substantially lessen the likelihood, frequency, and severity of war.

Zachary's book list on knowing your enemy

Zachary Shore Why did Zachary love this book?

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.

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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Vietnam War, Vietnam, and Laos?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Vietnam War, Vietnam, and Laos.

The Vietnam War Explore 223 books about the Vietnam War
Vietnam Explore 146 books about Vietnam
Laos Explore 15 books about Laos