The American Experience in Vietnam | Books in Review

The American Experience in Vietnam: Reflections on an Era is a heavily illustrated, magazine-format coffee-table book first published in 1988. It’s a distillation of Boston Publishing Company’s big-selling, twenty-five volume, in-depth examination of the Vietnam War that came out in increments beginning in 1979—the one, you may remember, that was marketed and distributed by Time-Life Books.

A revised and expanded edition of the single volume edited by two of the writers of the series—the historians Clark Dougan and Stephen Weiss—recently has been published (Zenith Press, 336 pp., $40). The new book contains updated material, including a preface by Vietnam veteran Nick Mills, who wrote one of the volumes of the original series.

The heart of the book is a well-written, objectively presented history of the war that includes a lot of military history—“the major military operations, heroic firebase defenses, and bloody mountaintop battles, ” as Mills puts it.

This latest edition also contains new material, mainly on the war’s legacy among Vietnam veterans.

—Marc Leepson

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