A View From the Front Lines
By Andrew Wiest
(Osprey Publishing, Hardcover, 9781849089722, 312pp.)
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
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Vietnam: A View from the Frontline traces the American experience of Vietnam from the war's popular inception to its morale-crushing and bitter conclusion. Vietnam features a grunt's-eye view of the conflict - from the steaming rice paddies and swamps of the Mekong Delta, to the triple-canopy rainforest of the Central Highlands, to the forlorn Marine bases that dotted the DMZ. Like Karl Marlantes' groundbreaking novel 2010, Mattherhorn, this book will change the way we think about Vietnam. Told in uncompromising, no-holds barred language of the soldiers themselves, the stories contained within this book detail everything from heroism to fragging, from helicopters hitting the LZs to rampant drug use. It is a true and grippingly accurate portrait of the American war in Vietnam through the eyes of the men and women who fought in that far away land while a few are drawn from medics, corpsmen, nurses and widows. The book is based on rich collections housed at the National Archive, the Center of Military History, and at the Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech.
Andrew Wiest, author of Boys of ’67, was an advisor to History Channel’s Vietnam in HD and has written or edited several books on the Vietnam War, including Vietnam's Forgotten Army (winner of the Society for Military History's Distinguished Book Award), Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land, and America and the Vietnam War Generation. Mr. Wiest lives in Hattiesburg, MS where he is the Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.
"From the testimony of combat veterans and their families, a military historian assembles a unique oral history of America’s most controversial war...No reader can expect to understand America’s most vexing war through this book alone, but none can comprehend it fully without factoring in these firsthand accounts. A smartly composed, affecting memory album of the draftees and volunteers whose service and sacrifice for so long went unacknowledged." --Kirkus Reviews
"Wiest has a good feel for the human side of the Vietnam War...[he] asserts that there 'was no single, generic military experience for infantrymen and Marines in Vietnam,' but he still provides a good sampling of what the war was like for American men fighting at the ground level." --Publishers Weekly
"In his latest book, Vietnam: A View From the Front Lines, Wiest has put together a creditable oral history of soldiers and Marines who saw combat in the Vietnam War. Many are members of Charlie Company, the 9th Infantry Division unit he wrote about in his previous book; most of the others are gleaned from the Oral History Project at Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and Archive." --Veteran Magazine
"Unlike many books about the Vietnam War, Vietnam: A View from the Frontlines doesn’t attempt to explain why the United States failed in Vietnam. Instead it aims to give the reader a grunt’s-eye view of what happened on the battlefields of that tiny, Third World nation a generation ago...Of particular interest are chapters like 'Welcome to Vietnam' and 'Life and Death in the Nam,' in which veterans recall their first encounters with the enemy. Even more riveting are the firsthand accounts of being wounded in action." --Failure Magazine
"Vietnam will change the way we think about Vietnam. It is a true and grippingly accurate portrait of the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of those on the ground."
- Savannah Jones, www.sirreadalot.org
"...powerful and revealing."
- The Midwest Book Review (July 2013)