Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam

by Elizabeth Partridge

Chapters detailing the experiences of diverse individuals in Vietnam during the war—soldiers,... read more

Chapters detailing the experiences of diverse individuals in Vietnam during the war—soldiers, a military advisor, a military nurse, a young Vietnamese woman trying to flee the country with her family after the fall of Saigon—alternate with chapters focusing on the political front in the United States in this arresting account of the Vietnam War. Each individual story illuminates how the perspectives of those with “boots on the ground” differed vastly from the official government narrative, as well as how far removed political and military decisions are from the lives of those whom they impact, often devastatingly. The chapters set in the United States illuminate the thoughts and actions of presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford) and protesters (Martin Luther King, Jr., who was criticized within and beyond the Civil Rights Movement for his decision to speak out against the war, and Country Joe McDonald, who wrote one of the most popular anti-war anthems). The narrative turns toward healing as it documents efforts to create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, including initial backlash against architect Maya Lin’s design, and the Memorial’s cathartic impact. Photographs throughout, detailed notes, a comprehensive bibliography, and brief updates on the lives of those Partridge interviewed to show us the war through their eyes round out a forceful work. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

show less