Vietnam War Bibliography:

US Military Men

Rick Atkinson, The Long Gray Line. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989; pb New York: Pocket Books, 1991. xii, 753 pp. The experiences of members of the West Point class of 1966, through Vietnam and after.

SMA William G. Bainbridge and Dan Cragg, Top Sergeant: The Life and Times of Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1995. x, 357 pp. His Vietnam tour, late 1965 to late 1966, is pp. 112-147. He was initially Sergeant Major of the 1/28 Battalion (1st Infantry Division), later Sergeant Major of II Field Force, Vietnam, under General Seaman.

Karen DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell. New York: Knopf, 2006. 610 pp. Powell arrived in Vietnam an LT1 advisor to the ARVN 1st Division in December 1962, and as a Major to serve as XO of the 3/1 Infantry, later division G-3, in the Americal starting June 1968. (See also books by Means and Powell below.)

W[illiam] D[aniel] Ehrhart, Ordinary Lives: Platoon 1005 and the Vietnam War.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999.  333 pp.  Ehrhart traces what happened, through service in Vietnam and after the war, to the men of the training platoon with which he himself underwent Marine Corps basic training at Parris Island in 1966.

Ellen Frey-Wouters and Robert Laufer, The Legacy of a War: The American Soldier in Vietnam. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1988. 472 pp.

Ernest B. Furgurson, Westmoreland: The Inevitable General. Boston: Little, Brown, 1968. 347 pp.

Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army. New York: Hill & Wang, 1978. xii, 242 pp.

General John R. Galvin, Fighting the Cold War: A Soldier's Memoir. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015. xv, 517 pp. Chapter 12 (pp. 125-57) deals with his first tour in Vietnam. He arrived in July 1966, a major, and served as the S3 of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, until later August. In December he went to the 1st Cavalry Division. Chapter 13 (pp. 158-74) deals with assorted jobs in the United States 1967-69, starting with a few weeks in the Office of the Chief of Information in the Pentagon, then a couple of months as one of the authors of the "Pentagon Papers," then as an assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Chapter 14 (pp. 175-216) deals with his second tour in Vietnam, beginning November 1969. He was initially assigned as the intelligence officer for the 1st Cavalry Division; in May 1970 he became commander of a battalion, the 1/8 Cavalry.

Tadeusz Gaweda with Charles E. Glover, I Love America.  Dorrance, 1999.  264 pp.  The autobiography of Gaweda, a refugee from Poland who served a 1965-66 tour as an advisor to the ARVN, and an 1968-69 tour with SOG, and eventually became Command Sergeant Major of the XVIII Airborne Corps, as written by Glover.

Henry G. Gole, General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2008. xviii, 364 pp. As MACV's assistant chief of staff for operations 1964-66, and commander of the 1st Infantry Division 1966-67, DePuy was an advocate of massive firepower. He was SACSA 1967-69. In the 1970s he helped to create, and then became the first commander of, the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

Frank L. Grzyb, ed., Touched by the Dragon: Experiences of Vietnam Veterans from Newport County, Rhode Island. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1998. Paperback retitled A Story for All Americans: Vietnam, Victims, and Veterans. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2000.

J.T. Hansen, A. Susan Owen, and Michael Patrick Madden, Parallels: The Soldiers' Knowledge and the Oral History of Contemporary Warfare. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992. Compares the US war in Vietnam with the USSR's war in Afghanistan.

Col. William Hauser, America's Army in Crisis: A Study in Civil-Military Relations. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. xiii, 242 pp.

John Helmer, Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After. New York: The Free Press, 1974. xv, 346 pp.

Elizabeth Lutes Hillman, Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-Martial. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. 256 pp.

Samuel Hynes, The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to Modern War. New York: Viking, 1997. New York: Penguin, 1998. xvi, 318 pp. Hynes analyzes soldier's accounts of war, looking at common threads.

Ward Just, Military Men.  New York: Knopf, 1970. 256 pp.

Peter Samuel Kindsvatter, "Doughboys, G.I.'s, and Grunts: Fear, Resentement, and Enthusiasm in the Combat Zone." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Temple University, 1998. 926 pp. AAT 9838496. Comparison of U.S. soldiers' experiences in World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Peter S. Kindsvatter, American Soldiers: Ground Combat in the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003. xxiii, 432 pp.

Gen. Douglas Kinnard, The Certain Trumpet: Maxwell Taylor and the American Experience in Vietnam. McLean, VA: Brassey's, 1991. xv, 252 pp.

James Kitfield, Prodigal Soldiers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Anne Loveland, American Evangelicals and the U.S. Military, 1942-1993. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996. xiv, 356 pp. The book is available online if you are browsing from an institution affiliated with NetLibrary.

S.L.A. Marshall, Bringing Up the Rear: A Memoir. San Rafael, CA: Presidio, 1979. xiii, 310. Marshall, a retired U.S. Army historian, visited Vietnam briefly in 1962, and for more extended periods beginning in 1966.

Howard Means, Colin Powell: Soldier/Statesman - Statesman/Soldier. New York: Fine, 1992. xi, 369 pp. pb New York: Ballantine, 1993. Powell arrived in Vietnam an LT1 advisor to the ARVN 1st Division in December 1962, and as a Major to serve as XO of the 3/1 Infantry, later division G-3, in the Americal starting June 1968. (See also books by DeYoung above, and Powell below.)

John Ronald Milam, "Not a Gentleman's War: Junior Officers in the Vietnam War." Ph.D. dissertation, History, University of Houston, 2004. AAT 3123925. 303 pp. The author served as a junior officer in Vietnam around 1970. The text is available online if you are browsing the Internet through an institution that has paid for a subscription to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Ron Milam, Not a Gentleman's War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009. xv, 238 pp.

David H. Petraeus, "The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era." Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1987. ix, 328 pp. 8724797. A study of the influence of the Korean War on the thinking of U.S. military leaders in the years leading up to the Vietnam War, of the influence of Vietnam on their thinking up to the mid 1980s. General Petraeus' increasing importance in the U.S. Army (he commanded the 101st Airborne Division in the march on Baghdad in 2003, and took command of CENTCOM in 2008), gives particular interest to this study.

Murray Polner, No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971.

Colin Powell, with Joseph E. Persico, My American Journey. New York: Random House, 1995. x, 643 pp. Powell arrived in Vietnam an LT1 advisor to the ARVN 1st Division in December 1962, and as a Major to serve as XO of the 3/1 Infantry, later division G-3, in the Americal starting June 1968. (See also biographies by DeYoung and Means above.)

Lawrence B. Radine, The Taming of the Troops: Social Control in the United States Army. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977. xii, 276 pp.

Wilbur J. Scott, The Politics of Readjustment: Vietnam Veterans Since the War. de Gruyter, Aldine, 1993. 308 pp. Reissued (I don't know whether there were any revisions) as Vietnam Veterans Since the War: The Politics of PTSD, Agent Orange, and the National Memorial. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004. 320 pp.

Brian M. Sobel, The Fighting Pattons. Praeger, 1997. pb New York: Dell, 2000. xxviii, 386 pp. Pages 6-91 cover the life of George S. Patton, Jr., the World War II general. Pages 92-359 are devoted to his son, Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, who served his first Vietnam tour April 1962 to April 1963, with duties including liaison between MACV and the CIA (particularly in regard to Operation Switchback). He returned to Vietnam for a three-month assignment studying the use of mechanized forces in 1967, and again for a full tour 1968-69. He served January to July 1968 in USARV, then commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry (the "Blackhorse Regiment"), from July 1968 into early 1969.

Lewis Sorley, Thunderbolt: General Creighton Abrams & the Army of His Times. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. pb Brassey's, 1998. A worshipful biography, but not disastrously so. Sorley sometimes avoids topics that might make Abrams look bad, but he does not falsify the facts.

Lewis Sorley, Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. General Johnson, Army Chief of Staff, strongly disapproved of the way President Johnson handled the escalation of the Vietnam War.

Lewis Sorley, Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. xix, 395 pp.

John M. Taylor, General Maxwell Taylor: The Sword and the Pen. New York: Doubleday, 1989. The author, the son of Maxwell Taylor, has been an intelligence officer.

Maxwell D. Taylor, Swords and Plowshares. New York: Norton, 1972. 434 pp.

Robert Timberg, The Nightingale's Song. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. pb New York: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), 1996. 543 pp. Five Annapolis graduates--John McCain, John Poindexter, Robert McFarlane, James Webb, and Oliver North--whose lives were crucially influenced by Vietnam.

Lester P. Wyman, "Reentry Stress Perceptions of Heroin Using Vietnam Era American Soldiers while Awaiting Return to the Civilian Community." Ph.D. dissertation, Social Work, Case Western Reserve, 1976. 320 pp. DA 78-03909. Wyman questioned 124 soldiers under treatment for drug abuse, August 1972 to January 1973, about what forms of stress they expected on return to civilian life. He did follow-up interviews three months later with less than half of them, to find out what the stresses actually had been.

Samuel Zaffiri, Westmoreland. New York: Morrow, 1994. 502 pp. Doesn't look very good at first glance.


Many oral histories and other personal accounts by U.S. soldiers are listed under Oral Histories and Personal Accounts, American, Especially Soldiers

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised October 2, 2015.