From the Colonial War with France in the 1940s and 50s, through to the final evacuation of Saigon and beyond, each chapter of Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited, focuses on a different aspect of the Vietnam War. The 15 chapters are written by a diverse set of expert authors including participants in the war, journalists and historians who give startling and, in some cases exclusive, insights into one of the most controversial conflicts of the 20th century. Officers from both the NVA and ARVN take a first-hand look at the strategy and tactics of both sides and give critical assessments of where the war went wrong; Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese civilian trapped between the Viet Cong and Southern authorities provides a harrowing account of life for the typical South Vietnamese civilian caught up in the war; and acclaimed historians and journalists, such as Bernard Edelman and Arnold Isaacs, take a critical look at the many aspects of the war from the river war and the air war through to the strategy and doctrine used by the USA forces. Illustrated with contemporary colour photography that evocatively complements the text, this book will show the Vietnam War in a whole new light even for those who have 'read it all' before.
TOC: Contributors /Chronology /Introduction: An American War? /The French Indochina War /Fight for the Long Haul /The South Road /The War Outside Vietnam /A View from the Other Side of the Story /Caught in the Crossfire /Diggers and Kiwis /The Conduct of War /On the Ground /"Swatting Flies with a Sledgehammer" /Battle for Mekong /Tactics in a Different War /The Living Room War /The Final Act - And After /Endnotes /Bibliography /Glossary /Index
Table of Contents
Introduction: An American War?
The French Indochina War
Fight for the Long Haul
The South Road
The War Outside Vietnam
A View from the Other Side of the Story
Caught in the Crossfire
Diggers and Kiwis
The Conduct of War
On the Ground
"Swatting Flies with a Sledgehammer"
Battle for Mekong
Tactics in a Different War
The Living Room War
The Final Act - And After
"Editor Wiest (University of Southern Mississippi) has assembled an eclectic blend of solid academic articles and personal reflections packaged in a large-format, coffee-table-style work with nearly 200 superb photographs, maps, charts and tables. The end result is unconventional but fortuitously so, mixing traditional with new, unfamiliar perspectives and issues with enough breadth, depth and novelty to satisfy a broad audience from astute general readers to the most accomplished Vietnam War students and scholars. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." -Editors Pick, Choice (March 2007)
"...as this excellent anthology illustrates, there are enduring disagreements concerning the justification, military planning, and long-term effects of the [Vietnam] war. Professor Wiest... has compiled a series of essays written by historians, correspondents, and participants from both sides of the conflict, and thus readers are provided with a variety of perspectives and opinions." -Jay Freeman, Booklist (August 2006
"A diverse, unique set of perspectives are juxtaposed under one cover." -The Internet Bookwatch
"Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land... is a worthy compilation of essays by historians, journalists, and participants in the Vietnam War... The essays offer in-depth looks at many of the war's Big Questions. Weist...gives room to the voices from all sides of the political spectrum... An excellent examination of the experience of American Vietnam veterans by Bernard Edelman, based on illuminating interviews he has conducted over many years. Edelman also concisely and accurately covers the postwar experiences of Vietnam veterans." -The VVA Veteran
"What is particularly interesting about the book is the diverse topics that are covered... those with an interest in military history and in particular the Vietnam War will find this book an informative resource." -Timothy Baghurst, The Traveler
"You'll read about things you may not like and have your eyes opened to other aspects ot the conflict. You'll find out that what you thought were major causes for failure were really not as important as they seemed at the time. You'll also see that much of the dynamics of what was going on in Vietnam during the 60s is also playing itself out in Iraq today... It is a book that I think all children of the 60s and early 70s have to read... A book that I most highly recommend to you." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com
"This book is an excellent re-examination of a costly conflict that raised significant ethical, political and historical issues that continue to resonate and simmer decades later."
- Toy Soldier & Model Figure (October 2013)
"The Strength of this work is in the new ways it examines [the Vietnam War]."
- Military Heritage (January 2014)
From the Hardcover edition.