Trayner Bane's Reviews > The Soldiers' Story

The Soldiers' Story by Ron Steinman
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really liked it

This was the hardest Vietnam War book for me to complete, and I read a lot of Vietnam war history books. I started reading this book three times. On the third pass, I finally made it to the end. Why? Because once the Air War chapter starts, ending with the Fall of Saigon chapter, the repetitive stories become just that – way too repetitive. And I hate to say that because each individual story is a first-hand account and I mean no disrespect to those who were there. It’s how the stories were put together that’s the problem. I will say that this repetitive nature during the fall of Saigon really pushed home the finality of US involvement in Vietnam and how it was a personally shocking, but totally expected outcome in between 1973 and 1975. The book’s strength is that the personal stories start in the Ia Drang Valley where it all began with direct involvement, and the stories end with the biggest helicopter to naval evacuation of Americans, South Vietnamese, etc. in history, where it all ended. For me, after reading all the first-hand accounts throughout the war you could feel the sentiment that what started with the best intentions (freedom) turned out to be a disaster for everybody involved. Freedom isn’t easy, people must want it, and it’s always under attack. I give the book five stars through the beginning to the Secret War chapter, but only three stars for the last two chapters: The Air War and the Fall of Saigon. These last two are just too repetitive and became overly monotonous to read within the context of the entire book. Overall though, it’s still a great book to have in a Vietnam war history collection.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 24, 2018 – Shelved

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