The Vietnam War: Essential Accounts

There is no single story of the Vietnam War. In our second of four lists commemorating the premiere of Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ten part documentary series on the Vietnam War, we feature twenty-five memoirs and personal accounts of the War and its aftermath, representing a wide array of experiences and voices. Here are some highlights.

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The Vietnam War: Essential History

As our city and our nation tunes in to the premiere presentation of Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ten part documentary series on the Vietnam War, interest is spiking in books and films that explore the War and the era from all angles. In the first of a four part series featuring lists including one hundred works of history, memoir, fiction and film, we suggest some of the best historical overviews of the Vietnam War.

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About Time: The Big Picture

Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present by Cynthia Stokes Brown
An ambitious, exciting history of the earth, from its origins to the development of civilizations to the spread of computers.

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Kurlansky takes us on an entertaining and informative romp through the centuries, showing the enormous influence of a humble item – salt.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
This sweeping and controversial account of trends which led to European dominance in recent human history makes a compelling, thought-provoking and highly readable case for environment as opposed to biology.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
With his trademark humor and entertaining style, Bryson tackles a vast subject: the history of life on earth.