Awesome Books that will inspire you to visit Vietnam
Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall
Winner of 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History. The book explains the origins of the French conflict in Vietnam from the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919; the Indochina War between France and the Viet Minh all the way through to the beginning of America’s involvement in that region.
The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns
Based on multiple interviews and experiences of both the Americans and Vietnamese involved in the war; high level officials, soldiers and their families, POWs etc, the book presents a very balanced account of the Vietnam War.
Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic
A powerful memoir of Ron Kovic, a former US Marine Corps who was wounded and paralyzed in the Vietnam War and who later became an anti-war activist. An American classic that got adapted into Academy Award winning movie starring Tom Cruise.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
A collection of 22 war stories interconnected with each other, about a platoon of American soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. The book was inspired by the author’s own experiences in the war.
Dispatches by Michael Herr
A compelling memoir of an American writer and war correspondent Micheal Herr about the time he spent in Vietnam working for Esquire magazine (1967–1969) during the war.
Thirteenth Valley by John M. Del Vecchio
A historical fiction book by a Vietnam veteran. It follows the story of an infantryman James Chelini, who alongside other members of the 101st Airborne Division fight in Khe Ta Laou Valley, a territory controlled by the North Vietnamese Army.
The Girl in the Picture by Denise Chong
The story behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War. The picture shows a young girl Phan Thi Kim Phuc, running naked after being severely burned by a South Vietnamese napalm attack. The book traces back Kim Phuc’s life from before the attack, through recovery to the present day.
The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan
A 2003 memoir from a 300 mile journey down the Mekong River, from it’s source in Himalayas to mouth in the Mekong Delta through Tibet, China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Blending history and personal experiences Edward Gargan offers a very insightful view into the culture politics and geography of the region.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Set in Vietnam during the early 50’s, the book tells a story of a British journalist in his fifties Thomas Fowler, and a young American CIA agent working undercover Alden Pyle. Pyle, falls in love with Phuong, Fowler’s young Vietnamese mistress. Written in 1955, the book portrays the French colonialism in Vietnam and the growing involvement of America in the region.
The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
A story of a Vietnamese born women Maggie who after fleeing Vietnam for America with her mother just before the fall of Saigon. Fifteen years later she returns to her homeland hoping to learn more about her father, a painter and a member of ‘’The Beauty of Humanity Movement’’ dissident group, whom they left behind. The books gives a beautiful picture of a modern Vietnam.
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip
A moving memoir by Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese-American writer and humanitarian. It tells a story of her childhood and coming of age in war-torn Vietnam, family, relationships and marriages, escape to the United States, and her return to visit Vietnam and her family years later.