Thursday, May 17, 2018

Boots on the Ground America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge Book Review


America's war in Vietnam-in over a decade of bitter fighting, it claimed the lives of more than 58,000 American soldiers and beleaguered four US presidents. More than forty years after America left Vietnam in defeat in 1975, the war remains controversial and divisive both in the United States and abroad.

The history of this era is complex; the cultural impact extraordinary. But it's the personal stories of eight people—six American soldiers, one American military nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee—that create the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. From dense jungles and terrifying firefights to chaotic helicopter rescues and harrowing escapes, each individual experience reveals a different facet of the war and moves us forward in time. Alternating with these chapters are profiles of key American leaders and events, reminding us of all that was happening at home during the war, including peace protests, presidential scandals, and veterans' struggles to acclimate to life after Vietnam.

With more than one hundred photographs, award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge's unflinching book captures the intensity, frustration, and lasting impacts of one of the most tumultuous periods of American history.

My Thoughts:

When I look through my father’s photos I see many pictures of Vietnam and a lot of pictures of my father with his buddies. I don’t have many memories of my father since he died when I was very young. My father didn’t die in Vietnam but, it had an impact on him with nightmares and my family said it did change him. The Vietnam War has always been a confusing one to understand for me. Even in school it wasn’t taught but more of a brief glimpse in the pages of history books.

Now that I have been homeschooling I want my kids to understand history and this era of the Vietnam War that is so misunderstood by many. Several Years ago we had the Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall come in town. I took my kids to it. They were young but, we talked about it. They still remember that day we visited the exhibit.

Now my kids are older I can dive into more details of Vietnam. Boots on the Ground America’s War in Vietnam is a very sobering book of this time and a wealth of information. The book is intended ages 12 and up.

Partridge has done her research. She paints a vivid picture of the war and puts a face of the men and women who served our county during this time. She tells the story of how America got involved in the war. She talks about the Presidents that were in office during the Vietnam War. You get a view point of six soldiers whom served in different areas throughout the war. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, and other key figures and places are talked about throughout the book.

The story goes in chronological order of the war talking about the personal experience with the chapters going from the home front with the political leaders and the American people. Then you are introduced to the soldiers, a nurse and their experiences. The book ends with Maya Lin the architecture of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.

Included in the book are black and white photos of the events around Vietnam to the presidents, soldiers, protesters, and many more powerful imagines of Vietnam. 

The book does mention drugs, alcohol, suicide, revenge killing, and a few graphic details. The author does it tastefully and in context with the events of the Vietnam War. I just don’t think you cannot talk about some of these things to fully understand the war. If you have sensitive kids  you may not want them to read this or you may decide to do it as a read out loud rather than having them read it by themselves. 

I feel that this is a powerful book that gets to the heart of this complex period in our history. My 12 year old son will read this book and we will spend some time talking about it.
I appreciate the authors approach as being anti bias as she states the facts and isn’t pro-war or anti-war about Vietnam and leaves you to decide your own opinion of the war.

I received a free copy of and Advanced Reader Copy of this product from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations

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