Friday, November 16

Book: Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War, Michael Maclear Click for more info

Of course it's no coincidence that I've been reading a book on the Vietnam war - since I'll be visiting the region over the next couple of weeks I thought the least I could do was inform myself a little.

For this reason, Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War was a little bit of overkill. The book was more of a reference, a bit too academic for the layman read I was looking for. But in those terms it's hard to say that they book lacked in any way really.

One more grave bugbear I had with the book was the lack of linearity in the telling of events. Maclear jumps forward and back many times during the unfolding of the war, mentioning characters and events before their more in depth introductions. Until you start picking up on this, it is a little disorientating and confusing.

The above symptom as well as other minor ones make it pretty clear that the book is based on a TV documentary and the "clip" and interview format such things usually take the form of. This isn't a bad thing in itself I suppose, but again as a single point of entry into modern Vietnamese history I can't help but feel there would have been better and more focused options.

Recommended as a reference but perhaps not as a casual read.

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