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4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  599 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
This pioneering oral history of the war, the first of its kind, is forged exclusively from the voices of unnamed men and women who served in Vietnam.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published December 15th 1983 by Berkley (first published 1981)
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Jan 15, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing
A powerful and compulsively readable oral history of NAM (three letters which take on totemic significance), compiled by Baker from interviews he conducted with veterans. In plain-spoken language, with remarkable honesty and candor, they tell their stories: profound, moving, strange, funny, and endlessly disturbing.

What strikes one at first is the sheer naivety with which these men and women entered the war: the first statement in the book ends with, “I had no idea what I was getting into,” and
Aug 15, 2008 Gouty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Writing about World War Z reminded me of this author. Baker went around during the mid 80's and interviewed veterans, and got them to tell him stories about how they got sent to the Vietnam War, what they did there, and what happened after. Each interview/story is between 1-4 pages long. Each story is magnificently unique, they can range from very sad, to hilarious, highlighting the best and worst possible in human nature.
When I was at boarding school (not quite at the same time as Tom Brown, bu
May 16, 2009 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jane fonda
If even half of what's related in this book really happened then Nazi war criminals were fingerpainting compared to our boys in Nam. Personally, I don't buy a lot of the stories in here:

One soldier's ordered to keep kicking in a dead soldier's head until his brains creep out his ear.
A Vietnamese girl is gang-raped by GIs and then mutilated to death.
When Marines were bored of shooting at Viet Cong they shot at each other to pass the time.
GIs posing for pictures over a dying Vietnamese man's body
Brenda Broeker
Jun 15, 2009 Brenda Broeker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book does a nice job of interweaving snippets from the experiences of many different people who experienced the Vietnam War. I felt by the end that I could recognize the voices that kept popping back up through the novel. There are truly some horrifying accounts of what happened in the war--one reviewer on amazon questions whether or not all of the events ring true. He needs to go back and re-read the section where a vet explains that it doesn't matter whether the story told by a vet is com ...more
Mar 26, 2010 Seth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most intensely personal books about Vietnam I've read. On par with Michael Herr's Dispatches Seems to be regarded as a fake, but in many ways it fits with the bulk of the memoirs I've read. Nevertheless it seems not meant to be a history of the conflict, rather a collection of fragmented memories. In that sense it works as a subjective adjunct, whether it is explicitly factual or not.
Jan 12, 2010 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
Wow, what an emotional journey reading these heartwrenching open experiences from soldiers, drs and nurses in Vietnam and when they came back to 'the World'. I've always been fascinated by the Vietnam War and this book has been to me, one of closest I could come to know how it was for the individuals who went through the war. I salute you!
Jul 27, 2008 sdw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sdw by: Megan
Shelves: non-fiction
Excerpts from oral histories of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam compose this book. It is graphic and disturbing. It provides a perspective of what it was like to be on the ground as a U.S. solider in the war. It is the kind of book that reminds you why war is awful, even for the soldiers.
Apr 22, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far the best book about the 'Nam I've read. And I've read almost all of them. So great, broken up into sections of experience, each section contains vignette's from Baker's interviews. Touching, brutal, human and badass. Also: this is the book where Fugazi got their name.
Jan 17, 2016 DMREAnne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
If you have an interest in what the Vietnam War meant to the individuals who fought there, this is a good book for you. Mark Baker wrote this book using firsthand interviews with people who fought in the war. You will feel the emotions of these vets both during and after the war, helping you to better understand the long range affects the war had upon their lives, and why some vets cannot put their lives back together. After reading this book, you will understand why forgetting the horror of war ...more
Matt Fernwalt
May 22, 2008 Matt Fernwalt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides first-hand accounts of the Vietnam War. Numerous men and women who served in the Vietnam War are interviewed. The interviews give frightening insights into the continuing long-range effects of the Vietnam War.
Oct 07, 2007 Elyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
In 10th grade, my friend read this and recommended it to me. The book provides first-hand accounts of the Vietnam War. This was enlightening for someone of my generation who did not experience it more directly.
Apr 02, 2009 Erinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i don't often opt for books about war...but this is absolutely mind-blowing.
Sep 12, 2007 Gaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful. Plus I think it is where Fugazi got their name from.
Nov 27, 2007 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a good book about NAM!
I knew very very little about the Vietnam war prior to reading this book - and if I am honest the only knew things I have learnt are some military language. What this book has done is reinforced the little I already knew - the war really polarised people in the States, some atrocities took place (as does happen in wars) and the veterans got really short changed.

Are some of these stories fabricated? Possibly - but it doesn't detract from what this book is trying to do - showing the war in the wor
Larry McCloskey
Dec 01, 2011 Larry McCloskey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baker takes an unflinching look at the war that shaped a generation through the eyes of those who lived it. Almost assuredly, there are embellishments, exaggerations and outright lies in the stories told - Baker admits as much right up front and cautions the reader to take the stories with as many grains of salt as they'd like - but the emotion never seems faked.

Baker assembles snippets into a pastiche of the war. Instead of short stories from differing perspectives, he assembles a montage of an
Mar 26, 2010 James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just like Clifford Irving's "book" about Howard Hughes.

See STOLEN VALOR pp 388-389

In Stolen Valor B.G. Burkett points out:
1. In the introduction Baker wrote: "It must be assumed that included here are... and very likely outright lies"

2. Baker doesn't name his sources so it's impossible to verify most of what he says.

3. Baker described the death of "Johnny Kane.
No one named Johnny Kane died in Vietnam, nor did a Lt. Carver or a Marine enlisted man named Browne, a
Jonathan Scobie
Dec 16, 2014 Jonathan Scobie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most harrowing series of 'war stories' I've ever read. Because while knowing that they are factual accounts of the lived experiences of American men and women who served in the Vietnam War, I recognised that they distil the truth of every cliche that has ever been recycled about that conflict - not to mention every other military conflict justified by 'national interest'.
John Warner
Jun 24, 2014 John Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like talking with Vietnam veterans that I count among my friends. The stories that they have told me are remarkably similar to the accounts found here. It's reliable, riveting history.
Carrie Ballard
Nov 02, 2012 Carrie Ballard rated it really liked it
I'm currently 2/3 of the way through this book and at times I find myself a little lost at what they are talking about even though there is a dictionary in the back. With that said this book is amazingly descriptive, it is giving me a very good understanding of what these vets went through over in Nam. Most of it is incomprehensible to me, it is impossible to even imagine what it must have been like first hand. To know that this is true, and not subject to the imagination of an author has made m ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Darkson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Showing it's age a bit now, but still an interesting read. Would like to see a follow on book, seeing as it's now another 30 years on.
Christopher Nieman
A compendium of anecdotes from the Vietnam war, as told by those who served, this is a great primer for anyone who wants to learn about the war in basic, ground-level terms. You can flip to any page and read--there's almost no reason to read it from front to back--read it in long stretches or in small bites. It's raw, honest, and hits hard.
Dec 14, 2013 notabattlechick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-work
Remains one of the most powerful collections of Vietnam War memoirs out there - grouped very losely by theme, Baker captures the agony, drama, boredom, and complexity of war like few others. THe pieces are anonymous, and diverse; in aggregate, they are quite powerful. Published in the 1980s, it is a product of its time - you'll not find much sympathy for anti-war views here or a lot of nuance regarding the Vietnamese, but it is a must-have for any scholar or student of the Vietnam War.
Christian Romo
Sep 09, 2013 Christian Romo is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book throughout my freshman year and I found it rather interesting which is odd for me because I do not read by choice or at all in that matter, I got half way through it last year and it left me thirsty for more. hopefully Ms. Kim realizes that I'm not a major book worm, but I defiantly have a soft spot for this one haha.
G.T. Almasi
Jul 10, 2012 G.T. Almasi rated it it was amazing
I read this in middle school and it was like suddenly I could see colors I'd never seen before. Real, tragic, and heart-rending, this is among the early memoirs that helped the U.S. begin to forgive the soldier-victims cruelly sent to Vietnam by the corruptazzi in Washington.

Thirty stars. Required reading.
Dunsmore. Nick
Oct 10, 2011 Dunsmore. Nick rated it it was amazing
Im reading the book Nam, by Mark Baker. Im currently on page 111. The book is really good and has different people telling the story not just one. So your able to see the war in different eyes and what they went through. I really like it.
Jun 29, 2012 Everett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very well written eye opening book about the Vietnam War. If you have every wondered why dad or grandpa why they did not talk about their time in Nam. Here is a book that tells about what really was happening.
Feb 13, 2012 Tony rated it it was ok
True stories from the Vietnam War. They were a little shocking, and sometimes crude, but they were true stories. You should not be easily shocked if you read this book. It was however still very entertaining.
Nov 20, 2007 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really disturbing book. I read this for a college history class. The things that soldiers did to each other and civilians in Vietnam were unspeakable. I wouldn't read it again though.
Aug 28, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know what the men and women did and suffered in Vietnam, read this book. It is tragic and revealing. It is in their own words.
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