Vietnam: A History of the War

Russell Freedman. Holiday House, $20 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3658-3
In an excellent study of the Vietnam War that examines the conflict and its aftermath from multiple angles, Freedman (We Will Not Be Silent) again tackles a complex historical event and breaks it down into an accessible account for young readers. Initial pages take the story back 2,000 years to describe how the Vietnamese "fought wars of independence against the Chinese, the French, the Japanese and finally the Americans," before going on to explain how the small Asian nation spent 30 years of the 20th century embroiled in war. Freedman lucidly recounts how Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh went from working to overthrow French colonial rule and allying himself with the Americans during WWII to becoming a Communist leader fighting against the U.S., as well as how the Cold War and the containment policy of the United States led to its Sisyphean involvement in the conflict. Graphic photographs provide an up-close look at the war and the protests surrounding it. The author concludes with a poignant observation about the legacy of the war: a humbling reminder of the limits of power." A timeline, source notes, glossary, bibliography, and index are included. Ages 10–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
Release date: 08/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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