Revisiting the Vietnam War | Wyatt’s World

On September 17, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick will launch a ten-part PBS documentary series The Vietnam War, providing plenty of ideas for what to reach for in the collection, such as Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Sympathizer, and its follow-up Nothing Ever Dies, and Mark Bowden’s recent Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. Also look for Max Boot’s The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam coming in 2018.

  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui (Abrams).
    Bui’s exquisite debut graphic memoir traces her family’s immigration to America from Vietnam during the war, exploring themes of fear and rootlessness, loss and belonging. Visually compelling and emotionally powerful, Bui’s work brings a resonant immediacy to individuals cast adrift by conflict.
  • A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory, and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial by James Reston Jr. (Arcade).
    Nothing about the Vietnam War (1955–75) seems without fraught consequence, including the memorial to honor those who faced its battles. Reston offers a fascinating and multifaceted account of the memorial’s history—from art to politics.
  • The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns (Knopf).
    A companion volume to Burns and Lynn Novick’s PBS series, this sweeping account moves from the war’s 19th-century beginnings to its aftermath and the fall of South Vietnam. From the perspectives of soldiers to politicians to protestors, this detailed and fully illustrated addition covers the history from all aspects.
  • Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War by James Wright (Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s).
    Based on more than 100 interviews with war veterans and their families, this chronicle places readers into the lives and vivid memories of those who fought the vicious ground battles, documenting their continuing effects decades later.
  • The Vietnam War: The Definitive Illustrated History (DK).
    In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, DK releases this highly pictorial guide to the conflict. Moving chronologically, from before 1959 to 1973 and beyond, this contextual examination of the seeds of war consider its furious unfolding and bloody, lingering end.



SELF-eLearn More
SELF-e is an innovative collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioBoard® that enables authors and libraries to work together and expose notable self-published ebooks to voracious readers looking to discover something new. Finally, a simple and effective way to catalog and provide access to ebooks by local authors and build a community around indie writing!
Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  4. Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media, per our Terms of Use.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind