Max Hastings conducts a devastating history of Vietnam’s post-war years and decisive conflict with America, drawing on American and Vietnamese memoirs to create an epic yet intimate portrayal of how far into the psyche of each nation the conflict reached.
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 three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create a 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 two million people.
‘One by one, the sacred canons of right and left are obliterated. The war is laid bare, with all its uncomfortable truths exposed.’ The Times