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Preston

  • 24
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 24
  • ratings
  • Anatomy of Victory

  • Why the United States Triumphed in World War II, Fought to a Stalemate in Korea, Lost in Vietnam, and Failed in Iraq
  • By: John D. Caldwell
  • Narrated by: Chris Sorensen
  • Length: 20 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

This groundbreaking book provides the first systematic comparison of America's modern wars and why they were won or lost. John D. Caldwell uses the World War II victory as the historical benchmark for evaluating the success and failure of later conflicts. Unlike WWII, the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraqi wars were limited, but they required enormous national commitments, produced no lasting victories, and generated bitter political controversies.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well organized explanations by the author

  • By Preston on 01-29-19

Well organized explanations by the author

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-29-19

Trying to understanding US foreign policy is not easy. This book tries to explain why wars were successful in their objectives or not. This book seems to make a lot of sense. Hopefully, we can learn some things from this book. Having been in the military and in Desert Storm and then I listen to explanations about the Gulf War I can say the author seems to be exactly right. Having been there makes me think he seems to have it right with his retrospective analysis. Unfortunately, I think we don't develop winning strategies because we don't have a stake in these wars. We can just pack up and leave and come home and nothing changes for us. No national security issues, nothing. We just leave. Maybe that is our strategy since WWII. I recommend this book.

  • A Bright Shining Lie

  • John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam
  • By: Neil Sheehan
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 35 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 417
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370

Sheehan's tragic biography of John Paul Vann is also a sweeping history of America's seduction, entrapment and disillusionment in Vietnam.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worthy of the Pulitzer Prize, Great Listen

  • By RoosterCogburn on 06-03-13

Very, very well written

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-29-19

Narration is as good as it gets. Well done Mr. Dean. This is written like a novel with much imagery and thoughtful detail. Neil Sheehan did a fine job here. Neil is well respected for his reporting and knowledge of Vietnam and I trust his word. I wanted to learn more about Vietnam and this book helped. It is primarily about John Paul Vann whom you will learn every detail. I highly recommend this book for any type of reader, not just one looking for the "what went wrong in Vietnam?" type reader. Fine job Neil.

  • In Retrospect

  • The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam
  • By: Robert S. McNamara
  • Narrated by: Robert S. McNamara (preface), Joseph Campanella
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 69

As secretary of defense for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, Robert S. McNamara was one of the chief architects of American foreign policy, and particularly of the strategy that propelled the U.S. into the Vietnam War. Though he at first firmly believed that fighting communism in East Asia was worth the loss of American lives, McNamara eventually found himself at odds with other members of the Johnson administration when he came to see the ever-escalating was as unwinnable.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a mess things were...

  • By tom on 06-23-10

I was expecting more

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-29-19

McNamara was probably the #1 guy getting us into Vietnam and running the war besides the deep state folks. I really thought he would provide some insight and real explanations as to what happened. It's been 44 years. You can talk. Historians and others who were there give more insight into Vietnam than what McNamara does in his book. Well over a million Vietnamese died as well as Laotians, Cambodians, 58,000 Americans dead, and billions wasted and McNamara doesn't seem to me to give much information on what went wrong. He does apologize for some things, but I'm not looking for apologies. The level of lying, corruption, waste, and indifference to the population of a nation who is forced to live in misery for a decade warrants good explanations so people in the future can learn from these reasons things went wrong. Or maybe everything went as planned. I can't tell. I thought for sure McNamara would talk about the Pentagon Papers which he had created and were the biggest story in American history at the time. McNamara spoke about two sentences about the Pentagon Papers and that was it. Very disappointing. They are available to the public now. Why not talk about them? I've studied Vietnam and was thinking McNamara's book would help future Americans understand their governments history and learn from it. I was wrong.

  • Vietnam

  • An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975
  • By: Max Hastings
  • Narrated by: Max Hastings
  • Length: 32 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 246

Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the US in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed two million people. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A more nuanced view than Ken Burns' companion book

  • By Vu on 10-21-18

Very Thorough Book About Vietnam

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-13-18

Excellent book starting at the end of WWII like it should to explain the Vietnam disaster. I didn't realize Vichy France and Japan played a role in the start of the three decade disaster of Vietnam. I did know Ho Chi Minh visited US Diplomats in WWII and was essentially ignored. It is unbelievable what went on in Vietnam for 10 years. Hopefully, Americans are studying books like this to understand what war really is and what the real results are. Excellent book to really understand this war.

  • Tiger Force

  • A True Story of Men and War
  • By: Michael Sallah, Mitch Weiss
  • Narrated by: Harry Chase
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

The product of years of investigative reporting, interviews around the world, and the discovery of an astonishing array of classified information, Tiger Force is a masterpiece of journalism. Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for their Tiger Force reporting, Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss have uncovered the last great secret of the Vietnam War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story, well told

  • By edquigle on 06-18-16

Interesting Story About An Experimental Unit

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-13-18

I was hoping for something a little more fact based about Tiger Force, but this book is interesting nonetheless. It is a story pieced together by interviews and accounts of many people like many war stories. Americans should know about things like this that happened in Vietnam to help them have a full perspective of the US influence on what was essentially a civil war.

  • My Lai

  • Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness
  • By: Howard Jones
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

On the early morning of March 16, 1968, American soldiers from three platoons of Charlie Company entered a group of hamlets located in the Son Tinh district of South Vietnam, located near the Demilitarized Zone and known as "Pinkville" because of the high level of Vietcong infiltration. The soldiers, many still teenagers who had been in the country for three months, were on a "search and destroy" mission. Three hours after the GIs entered the hamlets, more than 500 unarmed villagers lay dead, killed in cold blood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Lai: Vietnam, 1968

  • By mbruno9243 on 08-26-17

Very good book.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-18

Very good account of the My Lai incident. This book essentially retells the history of the incident and the final courts martials for all the soldiers involved. This book and the official history state that the cause of the My Lai incident was bad leadership, rogue troops, and senior brass covering up the incident. I'm sure these things existed. There seems to be other evidence out there that the CIA's Phoenix Program may have played a part in what happened at My Lai. Before you completely believe the official narrative of this book and the governments official history of the incident, consider looking into the Phoenix Program in Vietnam for added information of what might have happened at My Lai.

  • The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam

  • By: Douglas Valentine
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

A shocking expos of the covert CIA program of widespread torture, rape, and murder of civilians during America’s war in Vietnam, with a new introduction by the author. In the darkest days of the Vietnam War, America’s Central Intelligence Agency secretly initiated a sweeping program of kidnap, torture, and assassination devised to destabilize the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front (NLF) of South Vietnam, commonly known as the “Viet Cong.”

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • a lot of needless detail but interesting

  • By Anonymous User on 06-19-18

Very Informative

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-18

This is a very well written and informative book. This book helps people understand why US troops sometimes did what they did in Vietnam which was to unwittingly carry out the master plan of the CIA who first became involved in Vietnam in the 50's. As the author eludes to, Phoenix type programs have gone on around the world ever since. This book brings the reality of US policy and war into view. Well worth listening to.

  • Most Dangerous

  • Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
  • By: Steve Sheinkin
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 128

On June 13, 1971, the front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War. Known as The Pentagon Papers, these documents had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stand up and be counted.

  • By Boots on 05-03-17

Very Well Told Story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-24-18

This is a very interesting story and well told. All Americans should read this book. It is very enlightening about the various presidents actions during the war. People need to understand what happens in politics and US foreign policy. The more stories like this which are told the more suspicious the citizens will be of their government which is generally good. This book reveals a lot about actual conversations by Nixon and Johnson and how they steered the war. Draftees of this era have a right to be pissed. This type of behavior by the US still continues today and we can't improve as a nation unless the citizens understand how the government actually functions and how the decisions it makes directly affect the lives of people in America.

I didn't like the narration. The narrator over emphasizes many statements which I didn't think was necessary. It seems like he is emphasizing sentences and points he wants to drive home. His impersonations of other people all sound like a girl talking. Don't let this deter you from reading this book. This is just my opinion and it's a very good book to listen to regardless.

  • The Vietnam War

  • An Intimate History
  • By: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders, Ken Burns, Brian Corrigan
  • Length: 31 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 473
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 471

More than 40 years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. When the war divided the country, it created deep political fault lines that continue to divide us today. Now, continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Breathtaking In Scope; Heartbreaking In Reality

  • By Gillian on 09-14-17

Very Well Written

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-14-18

This book is well written, well narrated, broad in scope, and comprehensible. It covers all the U.S. presidents actions during the war, veterans experiences, the anti war movement, Vietnamese soldiers and civilians, and more. I think this book is fairly unbiased although I need to read more books to know for sure. It is clear this war was a mess from beginning to end. The standing presidents at the time are likely to blame as well as the deep state. The Vietnamese really suffered under all the bombing which I did not realize. I also didn't know there were multiple discussions about just nuking Vietnam to destroy supply lines and to wipe them out. What a tragedy this war was for all the troops and civilians on both sides. The interesting thing is we still have done this same thing in other countries since Vietnam and it still seems acceptable to America. Worth the money and worth the time.

  • Lies My Teacher Told Me

  • Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
  • By: James W. Loewen
  • Narrated by: Brian Keeler
  • Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,257
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,652
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,661

This national best seller is an entertaining, informative, and sometimes shocking expose of the way history is taught to American students. Lies My Teacher Told Me won the American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Historical Fiction Stranger Than Truth

  • By Dubi on 01-17-15

Very Interesting

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-14-18

Much of the context of this book regarding the truth about American history I have known. The book goes deeper into each subject and really exposes the facts which are not readily made available or admitted to. The discussion about why textbooks and textbook authors don't incorporate certain facts or parts of history is interesting. I understand some of the reasons why people in America are educated with false versions of history, however, we teach kids that only other "bad" countries do this and that we are one of the few honest and open countries of the world. What kids don't get to learn is that other countries see through this nationalism doctrine and they see America different from the way American kids see it. I think this narrows the world view our kids have. This book is worth the read.