The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction on the War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction on the War

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"The Vietnam Reader" is a selection of the finest and best-known art from the American war in Vietnam, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, still photos, and popular song lyrics. All the strongest work is here, from mainstream bestsellers to radical poetry, from Tim O'Brien to Marvin Gaye. Also included are incisive reader's questions--useful for educators a...more
Paperback, 724 pages
Published October 20th 1998 by Anchor Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Vietnam Reader, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Vietnam Reader

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 314)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jun 11, 2011 Jimmy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: war
About as good a collection and summary as there could be of the literature up until that point in time of the Vietnam War. I'd be a little careful of using this book in a high school class on the literature of the Vietnam War. The language and the violence could be an issue. There is also the question brought up in the book whether or not there is such a thing as truthfully telling what happens in war. I like how the editor even acknowledged that people lie about their war experiences, sort of l...more
Though these stories span generations and viewpoints, I was struck by how similar their themes were. These selections are dominated by coming-of-age stories -- what editor Stewart O'Nan described using the fancier term of bildungsroman, or German learning-novel.

I found these selections to be powerful and overwhelming dark, which isn't surprising considering the heartbreak and savagery of the Vietnam War. It also jumped out to me how little the Vietnamese play a role in American accounts of the w...more
I read this when it came out, and it pointed me toward buying and reading several works I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Of course, this work contains fiction and nonfiction, plus movie reviews, and song lyrics.

It is a noble effort indeed to try and waken the consciousness of some readers who would otherwise be ignorant of the important works herein, and/or the Vietnam war era. If O'Nan's book helps the reading public to pick up other books on Vietnam, then he has succeeded admirably.

The mo...more
Excellent anthology of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and even songs from the Vietnam War. Editor Stewart O'Nan made a great selection from the vast material that is out there. Though I wouldn't agree with some of his selections (did he really need to include the book that was the basis for U.S. government-touted movie The Green Berets?), the breadth and diversity of his choices give a good sense of the war from the American soldiers' point of view. Especially valuable are the poetry of Yusef Kuma...more
Mike Harper
If you want to know about Vietnam, and don't have the patience for Karnow's "Vietnam: a History," this is the place to start. The selections include excerpts from novels, short stories, newspaper reports, lyrics and poems.
I read this for the first time when preparing to teach a seminar about the Vietnam conflict, and I'm rereading it now to prepare for another class.
My only quibble is that the book doesn't contain much of anything about the French war. I don't think the American war makes much...more
A compilation of clips from works treating the Vietnam War, including letters, poetry, oral histories, works of fiction, short stories, etc. This gives a well-rounded look at writing that treats a very controversial period in US history. From government-hired journalists to soldiers on the frontline, to disabled vets living out the rest of their lives in government hospitals, this anthology provides a range of perspectives. Very gruesome. Very essential to understanding the Vietnam experience.
Ayne Ray
Impressive in both depth and breadth of scope, this collection includes works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, still photos, and popular song lyrics in its balanced examination of the war from a variety of viewpoints. Essential reading for those interested in the history and impact of the Vietnam war.
Edwin van Amstel
Biedt een duiding van alles wat verschenen is over de Vietnamoorlog op het gebied van proza, poëzie, songteksten, films. Daarom moeilijk te overschatten. Als je jezelf een beeld wilt vormen van de (verandering van de) receptie van de Vietnamoorlog in de VS, is dit het boek dat je wilt lezen.
This is a fantastic anthology of fiction, poems, and stories of the Vietnam War. There are many authors in this book; one of them is Tim O'Brien who is a renowned Vietnam War author. This is simply a fantastic look at the Vietnam War through a vet's eyes.
If I were a teacher putting together a unit on the Vietnam War, I would snatch up a copy of this immediately. Poems, films, essays, bits of novels and memoirs, photographs, song lyrics--all thematically organized and ready for classroom use.
I have always loved books about the Vietnam War... this was the book used in one of my classes in college and I have picked it up again trying to finish all of the stories I did not get a chance to read in the class.
Jul 30, 2008 Lindsey is currently reading it
Not for the faint at heart. Cruelly honest, with wrenching accounts, both fictional and otherwise. I had to stop reading at several points because it was overwhelming. And I've read a lot of Vietnam literature.
Elizabeth Botticelli
Most honest pieces of writing from this time in history. Everyone should read this.
Aug 02, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read
Stephen King friend and recommended author.
Peter added it
Aug 15, 2014
Robert Scrivner
Robert Scrivner marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
Tyler marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
Nicole Green
Nicole Green marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
Matt Larusso
Matt Larusso marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2014
Necole Vitale
Necole Vitale marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2014
N Insley
N Insley marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2014
Jen added it
Jul 26, 2014
Krista marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
Mike marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • And a Hard Rain Fell
  • The Cat From Hue: A Vietnam War Story
  • Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans
  • Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War
  • Meditations in Green
  • Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam
  • The Vietnam Wars 1945-1990
  • A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath
  • Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam
  • America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 (Fourth Edition)
  • Nam: The Vietnam War in the Words of the Men and Women Who Fought There
  • Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides
  • Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming
  • The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family
  • A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam
  • The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars
  • The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam
  • Why Are We in Vietnam?
Stewart O'Nan is the author of eleven novels, including Snow Angels and A Prayer for the Dying, a story collection, and two works of nonfiction. His previous novel, Last Night at the Lobster, was a national bestseller, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named one of the New York Public Library Books to Remember. Additionally, Granta named him one of the 20 Best Young Ameri...more
More about Stewart O'Nan...
Last Night at the Lobster Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season Emily, Alone Songs for the Missing The Odds: A Love Story

Share This Book