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Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975
— —
Sir Max Hastings
Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975 by Sir Max Hastings at Abbey's Bookshop,

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975

Sir Max Hastings


9780008132996

William Collins


History;
Asian history;
Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000;
Vietnam War


Paperback

768 pages

$34.99
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From the best-selling author of All Hell Let Loose comes a masterly chronicle of one of the most devastating international conflicts of the 20th century and how its people were affected.

'This is a comprehensive, spellbinding, surprisingly intimate, and altogether magnificent historical narrative.' Tim O'Brien

Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people.

Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas.

No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.

By:   Sir Max Hastings
Imprint:   William Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   edition
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 46mm
Weight:   1.030kg
ISBN:   9780008132996
ISBN 10:   0008132992
Pages:   768
Publication Date:   October 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Max Hastings chronicles Vietnam with the benefit of vivid personal memories: first of reporting in 1967-68 from the United States, where he encountered many of the war's decision-makers including President Lyndon Johnson, then of successive assignments in Indochina for newspapers and BBC TV: he rode a helicopter out of the US Saigon embassy compound during the 1975 final evacuation. He is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.


`The author brings his usual brilliant descriptive skills to the action, mixing individual anecdotes with big-picture considerations ... The sole satisfying outcome of two recent American interventions in poor nations with incompetent governments is likely to be more superb histories by Hastings. A definitive history, gripping from start to finish but relentlessly disturbing' Kirkus, starred review Praise for Max Hastings: `Majestic ... it is impossible to emerge without a sense of the sheer scale of human tragedy ... To gather all these anecdotes together is a task in itself, but to assemble them in a way that makes sense is something entirely different ... Hastings shapes all these stories, almost miraculously, into a single coherent narrative' Daily Telegraph `A work of staggering scope and erudition, narrated with supreme fluency and insight, it is unquestionably the best single-volume history of the war ever written ... What makes his book a compelling read are the human stories' Sunday Times `No other general history of the war amalgamates so successfully the gut-wrenching personal details and the essential strategic arguments. Melding the worm's eye view and the big picture is a difficult trick to pull of - but Hastings has triumphed' The Times

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