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Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides
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Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides

4.44  ·  Rating Details ·  294 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Christian G. Appy?s monumental oral history of the Vietnam War is the first work to probe the war?s path through both the United States and Vietnam. These vivid testimonies of 135 men and women span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky origins in the 1940s to the chaotic fall of Saigon in 1975. Sometimes detached and reflective, often raw and emotiona ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published September 28th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
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This book is really heavy, for it contains not only accounts of the war, but it contains the views of the war. And it is views that we struggle the most to understand, to agree or disagree, to sympathize or to feel indifferent, to admire or to hate. Throughout the book, I have all kinds of emotions. What surprises me is that I am very easy to be moved, but difficult to be angered. This book perhaps has that kind of effect on me, I accept that we're so diverse and different as humans.

I appreciate
Jun 26, 2014 Olethros rated it it was amazing
-Detrás de todo evento hay personas. Detrás de una guerra, también.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Historia de la Guerra de Vietnam desde la perspectiva de una significativa cantidad de personas que estuvieron allí, de sus testimonios y vivencias, para ofrecer, como indica el subtítulo de la obra, “una historia oral”.

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Shane Joubert
Sep 09, 2016 Shane Joubert rated it it was amazing
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Mar 29, 2014 Laverne rated it it was amazing
Although the Vietnam war was going on in my lifetime, I didn't know or really understand what it was all about. I didn't understand why our servicemen and women were not treated better when they came home. I didn't get what Jane Fonda thought she was doing. I just didn't know why any of it was as it was. This book has so many different "essays" from people who were there it becomes a little clearer but I also feel the need to understand more about the history of Vietnam. Then will probably find ...more
James Murphy
Dec 09, 2015 James Murphy rated it it was amazing
I like oral histories of important periods of the past. I like that they are the assembled verbal recollections of individuals whose experiences reflect a part of the event. Accumulated, they form a comprehensive history. I like that their memories are honestly told and for that reason can be considered a truth, no matter if accounts sometimes differ. I've read some oral histories I thought were excellent records. Christian G. Appy's Patriots is perhaps the finest example I know of this method o ...more
Patriots is hands-down the best book on the Vietnam War I have read. And I have read quite a few. Rather than being a work of literature, a nonfiction history book of politics and strategy, or a memoir, this is both a combination of all three categories and none of the three categories at the same time. Its vast scope of content is beyond any Vietnam War book I have read. It is a collection of interviews conducted by the author with people related to all aspects of the Vietnam War. South Vietnam ...more
Christopher Rex
Sep 23, 2010 Christopher Rex rated it it was amazing
Incredible primary source about the Vietnam War. Stories told from all sides - from the soldiers on both sides, to nurses, commoners, doctors, generals in the US (and Vietnam) and everything in-between. Amazing. If you've ever wanted a "full" perspective of what the war was (and was like) to everybody involved, this is your book. It is all first-hand accounts and the stories are amazing. From Vietcong using the tubing from downed-aircraft for blood-transfusions to women peasants filling in bomb- ...more
May 07, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing
WOW! If you read only one book about the Vietnam war, it has to be this one. I've never read anything like it. The author interviews every type of person that was involved in some way with the war - soldiers, leaders, medical people, politicians, protestors, POWs, etc, FROM BOTH SIDES! The result is you have a full-orbed picture of what happened in Southeast Asia. Powerful! Sobering! Sad! Thought-provoking! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Joseph Kovacs
Oct 15, 2014 Joseph Kovacs rated it it was amazing
Read this in accompaniment with Appy's Vietnam War class at UMASS Amherst. A wonderful depiction of a very misunderstood Cold War conflict. Appy's skillful historical writing and effective implementation of oral history make this a very informative, enjoyable read. Looking forward to his future works.
Nov 06, 2015 Jolene rated it liked it
This book was very interesting. I like that it covers very different views from different people who were involved in the war. It is not an easy read though. It takes a long time, but is interesting. (Not surprisingly though, there is some bad language in some of the interviews)
Apr 04, 2014 Mimi rated it it was amazing
An amazingly great coverage of all sides of the Vietnamese/American war, from both countries. I wanted to read because one of the entries was by someone I knew, a vietnamese girl who came here when she was 3 and who recently died. Her entry was very revealing, and the book as a whole is excellent.
Izmael Arkin
Nov 10, 2011 Izmael Arkin rated it it was amazing
I was looking for a book that would give me a strong understanding of the Vietnam war as a whole. I didn't think it was possible as this is such a complex war. Yet, this book was able to provide perspectives of the war from everyone from american soldiers, journalists, and mothers to Vietnamese citizens and soldiers. This book is very intense at times as can be expected. The author does a wonderful job of providing background information when necessary. If you are looking for a book to begin lea ...more
Erik Randall
Dec 31, 2014 Erik Randall rated it liked it
Excellent primary sources that provide information on all sides (as advertised) of the Vietnam experience. Great place to find stories about the Vietnam nurses (which can be difficult to find).
Todd Kruse
Sep 19, 2013 Todd Kruse rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book at one of my favorite book stores - Hill Avenue Books in Spirit Lake, Iowa - probably around 2006 and read it immediately. I was reminded of this book while teaching my World Politics college course last night so wanted to add it to my Read list.

Since my two godfathers served in the US Marines in Vietnam reading this book was personally important to me but beyond that it is just an excellent book that is well written, informative, and thought provoking. Americans should re
Ron Fitzwater
Mar 19, 2014 Ron Fitzwater rated it it was amazing
An uncomfortable look at another dark time in American history.
Jul 20, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Completely unbiased. I learned so much about the Vietnam war; a lot that I'm not so sure I wanted to know. But mostly, I learned that the majority of people knew next to nothing about it when it was actually happening, and people know even less now. This is a part of our country's history that most people try to ignore but this book made me realize that this was actually one of the most important eras of America. It's a long, hard read but it allows for a complete understanding of what was going ...more
Tom Nolan
paperback 6x9
Nov 14, 2013 Karin rated it it was amazing
A history of of the war in Vietnam from both the American and Vietnamese sides. Much more than a comprehensive anthology of first-person accounts: a true mirror into the time and place from the perspectives of infantrymen, politicians, mothers, pilots, nurses, poets, brothers, artists, and so many more. The book is divided into in terms of time and event, and Appy sets up the background of each section with swift, straightforward prose.
James Marland
Aug 28, 2013 James Marland rated it really liked it
Just back from a holiday in Vietnam, and while there was exposed to many views about the war. As the author says, "...only a surprisingly narrow range of Vietnam War experiences have gained widespread attention". In this volume you can hear from the nurse, the draft dodger, the activist, the patriot, the prisoner, the artist, the poet, the diplomat and dozens of nameless Vietnamese whose voices are being heard for the first time.
Courtney Whelan
Aug 03, 2010 Courtney Whelan rated it it was amazing
I was able to learn more about the Vietnam War from "Patriots" then from any other source I have tried. It gives a 360 view of the war from all ranks and sides. I really enjoyed being able to read stories from view points not discussed regularly such as from women and Vietnamese citizens fighting on both sides of the war. Although an amazing book, I would not recommended it if the reader knows nothing about the war fought in Vietnam.
Mar 18, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I bought this book for Appy's class at UMASS Amherst. Of all the books I had to read for the History Department, this was by far my favorite. Appy does an amazing job giving you all sides of the war. For a history class this is what you want to read because his it has in-depth interviews about the war. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the Vietnam War.
Feb 22, 2014 Alan added it
First person accounts by American generals, draft dodgers who went to Canada, Vietnamese, Viet Cong, nurses, doctorsm Playboy bunnies who came on USO tours, James Brown, Country Joe MacDonald, children shot and injured who were brought to the States and adopted. This was an excellent book and really demonstrates the moral debate about the conflict.
Oct 14, 2011 Up2orbit rated it it was amazing
This oral history of the Vietnam War covers many different perspectives of the war and the culture of those war years. It was put together to help the reader see the big picture and also the individual human trauma caused on all sides. An extremely good read, although I recommend reading some background information on the Vietnam War as well.
William Clegg
Jan 08, 2013 William Clegg rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to William by: History Professor
This book is an eye-opening collection of narratives that changed my entire view of the Vietnam War. It gives the reader a chance to hear the viewpoint of almost every kind of participant imaginable. At the end you will question, and rightly so, the justification of war and America's rightful place in the modern world.
Feb 07, 2009 Tim rated it it was amazing
I don't know why, but first hand accounts of Vietnam fascinate me. This collection holds all sorts of experiences from all sorts of people. My favorites so far have been accounts from Vietnamese children. Their naive perspective somehow really puts the absurdity of the whole conflict into focus.
This is an excellent read and a must for anyone interested in a range of topics: The Cold War, the Vietnam War, "the American War", colonialism, Communism, the 1960s and 70s, etc.,etc. Read viewpoints from all sides and perspectives. Simply one of the most interesting books I have ever read.
Jun 11, 2010 MG rated it it was amazing
I found this work extremely informative, stimulating, and moving. Though it is 600+ pages, I felt like it moved rather quickly. if there is any single book to read about the Vietnam war, this is it. It is one of the best non-fiction works I have ever read--and I've read quite a few.
Dec 30, 2007 Shannon rated it really liked it
This is a really great book because you get American and Vietnamese perspective of the Vietnam war. A lot of time when studying history, or wars you only see one perspective. Patriots opens ones eyes to the complexity of the Vietnam War.
Jan 03, 2014 LT001 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book on the Vietnam War that I have ever read. The book presents an oral history of the war from all sides. The various accounts were not only comprehensive, they opened my eyes to the complexity of the war.
Mar 05, 2008 Brent rated it it was amazing
Excellent accounts by some of the people (American, Vietnamese, Australian, etc.) who were involved directly and indirectly in the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1975. Some of the accounts contain strong language.
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