In the long Nguyen Secret Zone of Vietnam, a renowned battalion of the First Infantry Division is marching into a devastating ambush that will leave sixty-one soldiers dead and an equal number wounded. On the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, students are staging an obstructive protest at the Commerce Building against recruiters for Dow Chemical Company, makers of napalm and Agent Orange, that ends in a bloody confrontation with club-wielding Madison police. And in Washington, President Lyndon Johnson is dealing with pressures closing in on him from all sides and lamenting to his war council, "How are we ever going to win this war?"
Based on thousands of primary documents and 180 on-the-record interviews, the story unfolds day by day, hour by hour, and at times minute by minute with a rich cast of characters as they move toward battles that forever shaped their lives and evoked cultural and political conflicts that reverberate still.
"Maraniss...is a writer with a masterly sense of narrative pace...The tale unfolds with a magisterial sweep that recaptures the war and its era." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A moving remembrance for those who lived through it and an illuminating lesson for a new generation trying to understand what it was all about." (Publishers Weekly)
Factual, balanced, even-handed and overwhelming. This audio book is indeed thought-provoking at the least and full of sadness and a sense of waste. It should be required reading....
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Action-packed and authentic, Maraniss takes you to a time-warp of history where you re-live the same moments in a bloody Viet Nam massacre and inside the halls of a university protest in Madison Wisconsin where police batons slam into student skulls. If you lived these years, the confusion, innocence and outrage are still there in your soul. Great reading experience, as usual, with David Maraniss at the keyboard.