The Vietnam War: A Reader’s Guide

An anniversary of a major historic event is always an occasion to publish new books. The 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination spawned more than 200 books in 2013 alone. But anniversaries are also a good reason to revisit the best books already written on the commemorated event. That’s what we’re doing with Marc Leepson’s “Top 30 Vietnam War Books” in our continuing observance of the war’s 50th anniversary.

Leepson, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam in 1967-68, notes in his introduction to the article that one of the legacies of the war is “an abundance of top-notch books, many written by veterans of the conflict.” He has been reviewing Vietnam War books since the 1970s, and his top 30 showcase 15 fiction and 15 nonfiction works that are “the cream of the crop.” They offer a diverse selection of comedy and drama, history and tragedy.

The holiday season might be a good time to reacquaint yourself with fascinating characters in books you read years ago or to meet new ones in books you missed. Don’t see your favorite Vietnam book in our top 30? Go to and tell us what it is and why you like it.

 Our Facebook page is an expanding forum for the exchange of news, commentary, photos and reminiscences. It can also be a good place to reconnect with the men and women who served alongside you in Vietnam. Many units have begun to hold reunions in conjunction with the 50th anniversary, and we can help spread the word on Facebook as well as on our website,

Email the reunion information to vietnam@, with “reunion announcement” in the subject line, or you can send it to: Editor, Vietnam magazine, 19300 Promenade Drive, Leesburg, VA 20176. After the reunion, don’t forget to post the pictures on our Facebook page.

We are also looking for pictures you might have of the Tet Offensive in January and February 1968. Each year our February issue includes articles about Tet, and we invite you to post your photos on our Facebook page to coincide with our February 2015 coverage. We might even include some in the magazine. We’ll keep you posted.


Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Vietnam. To subscribe, click here.