Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1963-1973” as Want to Read:
The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1963-1973
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1963-1973

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  12 reviews
“THE MEN WHO SACRIFICED FOR THEIR COUNTRY ARE RIGHTFULLY HERALDED . . . This is an honest book–one well worth reading. . . . Stanton has laid his claim to the historian’s ranks by providing his reader with well-documented, interpretive assessments.”

The Vietnam War remains deep in the nation’s consciousness. It is vital that we know exactly what happened there–
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Presidio Press (first published 1985)
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 Rise and Fall of an American Army, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Rise and Fall of an American Army

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  12 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 02, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-frauds
This book is a literary fraud.

See STOLEN VALOR pp 435-443

This guy is in a class by himself, he's written about a dozen "non fiction" books and ALL ARE LIES.

He was never stationed in Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia, nor did he
perform covert operations.

All of the medals he claims were awarded him don't exist.

While working for the government he did STEAL THOUSANDS OF PAGES of government documents and photographs which he use to write his many books of lies.
The FBI was able to get some of those doc
Mar 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I hadn't had to read this as part of a book review assignment, I probably would never have picked it up. It reads like a report of all battlefield tactics during the Vietnam War. If one is interested in such things, then this would probably be an excellent addition to their collection. It not only didn't mention anyone other than commanding officers by name, but there was no human point of view versus the mechanical and clinical observation of the author. Reading it was like reading a blow by ...more
Heinz Reinhardt
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is long on tactics and strategy, very, very short of context. Generally, history's of wars tend to be written in such a way that the exact opposite is the case. This time, the author, himself a former Nam vet and officer, decided to err on the side of the military aspect of the conflict. As such it helps to know a little about the broader view of the Vietnam War going in.
Shelby Stanton (who apparently has surrounded himself with a little bit of controversy concerning the details of hi
Scott Holstad
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This could have been an interesting book if the author hadn't gotten so bogged down in minute details. It's about the American military in Vietnam, circa 65-73, and it's pretty comprehensive, at least through 1969. One of its faults, though, is that it spends an inordinate amount of time going over each year of the 1960s and then lumps all of the 1970s into one final chapter. It's like the author gave up, just like the military did. Another fault I found was that the author made the US military ...more
Feb 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
"This book provides a complete account of American Army ground combat forces–who they were, how they got to the battlefield, and what they did there. Year by year, battlefield by battlefield, the narrative follows the war in extraordinary, detail. Over the course of the decade, the changes in fighting and in the combat troops themselves are described and documented." Quoted from the review posted on Goodreads. This is an accurate account which I had to plod through. The author is quite extraordi ...more
Harlene Kaur
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was very extensive and detailed. It seemed like this book was a long day to day report from the Vietnam War and contained extreme details. However, the book was very informative due to the primary accounts given by veterans and quotes from reports and other sources of information. I would recommend this book to anyone who isn't familiar with the Vietnam War and want's to gain knowledge.
Bill V
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given that this is the first book I've ever read on Vietnam, I liked it. My main criticisms are that there is very little coverage given to the political as well as home front aspects of the war and there are no casualty figures for either side after every battle or skirmish. On the other hand it seems to cover every moderately sized combat American forces were involved in during the course of the war.
Michael Dorosh
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very readable history of U.S. ground forces in Vietnam, occupying a decent middle ground between the quick-and-easy stuff you find on the Internet and the more impenetrable volumes of "official history". Stanton writes with an easy-going tone yet maintains an air of authority, walking the tightrope nicely.
Jack London
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the best non-fiction history of the Vietnam War that I have read. It is clear, it is readable, and it is painful indeed. An eighty-five watt book on a par with Rick Atkinson’s newest WWII history, Guns at Last Light. - See more at:
Sep 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The title is misleading. One would expect a dissection of what went wrong in the US Army. Instead it is mostly a (glowing) account of US ground forces in Vietnam.

I would avoid this author. Having served in the army himself, he comes at his writing like a cheerleader, a la Clancy.
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
If you can only read two books about Vietnam: "Street Without Joy" and "The Rise and Fall of an American Army."
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gritty detailed history of the Vietnam War. Disturbing in places, it will bring a reader to tears.
Ken Wheeler
rated it really liked it
Dec 16, 2010
Rob German
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2013
Shawn Fairweather
rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2015
rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2012
Scott Nusom
rated it it was amazing
Feb 23, 2019
Eric Weil
rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2013
Grant Volle
rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2008
Caleb McNair
rated it did not like it
Nov 30, 2007
Bryan Rindfleisch
rated it liked it
Nov 12, 2014
rated it liked it
Feb 28, 2015
rated it liked it
May 16, 2009
Mike Grady
rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2009
Jason Young
rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2014
Matt Caris
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2013
John Nellis
rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2011
Donald Hall
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Capt. Shelby L. Stanton served as an infantry officer in Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos during the Vietnam War. A recipient of the Purple Heart, he is an attorney and author of several books on military affairs. He resides in Bethesda, Maryland.