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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon


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.

Available on Amazon

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