Vietnam: A History (1983) by Stanley Karnow. This lengthy and exhaustive account is still the benchmark and is a surprisingly readable piece of scholarship.
Dispatches (1977) by Michael Herr is one of the centerpieces in the journalist and personal narrative genre of Vietnam writing. Unflinching and realistic, it was one of the first books of its kind.
A Rumor of War (1977) by Philip Caputo is often mentioned in the same breath with Herr's Dispatches. This dark narrative pays particular attention to the way individual soldiers functioned as...
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