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Publisher's Summary

Lieutenant Michael Lee Lanning went to Vietnam as an eager young patriot who was confident of surviving the war. After six months in-country, he was promoted at age 23 to company commander, and his sense of duty began to shift from his nation to preserving the lives of the men in Bravo Company.

Lanning and his men faced an enemy who was patient, elusive, and firm in the belief that they could outlast the Americans. The young commander also confronted the prospect of sudden, violent death, bone-numbing weariness, and the stench of blood and decaying flesh. He would lose friends and would acquire a cynical contempt for all Vietnamese, both allies and enemies.

Vietnam, 1969 - 1970 is taken from the journals the author kept during his tour of duty. He wrote, "I dusted off men with wounds that will disable them for the rest of their lives. I dusted off a dead man that was one of the best soldiers I ever have known. I am realizing the full burdens of being a company commander."

The book is published by Texas A&M University Press.

©1988 Michael Lee Lanning (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"One of the most honest and horrifying accounts of a combat solder's life to come out of the Vietnam War." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Wish I could like this more.....

I found it to be s self-agrandizing recollection. The authors disdain for anyone who was not doing what he did is annoying. I really lost it when he was leaving the field and was asked by his men what to do if the new company commander was not as good as him. The author told them to kill him. Kill the new company commander? Really? When a black soldier refused to return to the field and was courtmartialed with only three months detention, the author lamented that he should certainly have been shot at dawn.
At one point he relishes how great his accomplishments were and what great pride he has in what he has done and that the Vietnam war had been a great point in his life.........that is all good. But he forgets one thing. The war was not that great for many. He does remember those who died but only in passing. It is as if the fact he had been to the war and survived was made the greater accomplishment because so many others had not made it.
To me, the whole damn war was a disgrace and a mistake. The American soldier, the young American soldier, fought and died for patriotism, Mom and apple pie and was one of the finest soldiers every to go afield. The problem is that this war was a tragic misuse of these fine young men. Politicians sent us to war and then interfered with the process. 58,256 died for what? No one seems to really know. What purpose did it serve? Everyone of us who went should quietly and humbly honor our service but openly and loudly demand that no American soldier ever be sent to a useless war again. Next time, send the politicians first. The true heroes of Vietnsm have come home and recognizing the tragedy, have quietly remembered but never bragged. The memory of those dead should quiet any thought of believing that war a great experience. It wasn’t.

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Review Vietnam 1969-1970

I have been honored to serve and have read countless books about the Vietnam War and those who did go there. This 2 books are so real and truthful...if anyone would Like to understand what went on in the field or in the rear of military daily life this will give great insight. Congratulations Lt.

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Great book and performance

this is a good book and it was read well by the narrator. it felt like the author himself was reading it.

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  • Chris M
  • 04-03-16

Simply excellent

There are many good books about the Vietnam war and leadership in war. This is a brilliant account of both.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris F
  • 08-03-17

Brilliant story of the Vietnam war.

Would you listen to Vietnam, 1969 - 1970: A Company Commander's Journal (No.1) again? Why?

Yes I would listen again. It covered such an intense experience, I am sure there are details I missed.

What other book might you compare Vietnam, 1969 - 1970: A Company Commander's Journal (No.1) to, and why?

The first book written by Mr Lanning - "The Only War we Had". This book is better; better constructed, far better narration, better details.

Which character – as performed by Alexander MacDonald – was your favourite?

Mr Lanning.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

The narration of the first book really put me off. It was monotone and soporific. However, this improved immeasurably in this book and really added to it. The narrator gave different voices to different characters and used a broader range of tone and volume.