The Vietnam War
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The Vietnam War

Illustrated by Sam Carbaugh

More than 58,000 American troops and personnel died in the humid jungles and muddy rivers of Vietnam during the 20-year conflict. But why? What were they fighting for? Read More

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Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
eBook, $12.99
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Maps | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Social Studies
Content Focus: World History


School Library Connections
The author does not shy from describing the deception and dishonesty prevalent among these central players, and the key events of the war are explained, complete with their importance. Readers are given glimpses of the war itself, from the use of defoliants such as Agent Orange, to the Cu Chi Tunnels used so effectively by the Viet Cong, to the protests of Buddhist monks, and the devastating effects of the war on the Vietnamese countryside. The book also recounts the growing disenchantment of the American public as the war dragged on. The role of the media, especially television, domestic/student protests, and the Pentagon Papers episode are all explained. The highlight of the book is its interactive aspect. Numerous sidebars ask students to consider critical questions, “Vocab Lab” invites readers to compile and practice vocabulary, and codes can be scanned to lead students to additional information such as Ho’s Declaration of Independence, propaganda cartoons, and relevant speeches. Bibliography. Glossary. Recommended

School Library Journal
"A well-organized and succinct work to accompany U.S. history units. The book follows the trajectory of the Vietnam War and includes vocabulary labs at the end of each chapter, project ideas (writing a song or poem about a current political/social concern), investigative questions and points to ponder or debate. (“How was guerilla warfare different from traditional warfare?”). Content includes the Chinese occupation, French imperialism, and U.S. sentiment following the fall of Saigon. The writing is concise with relevant sources and differing points of view. Tech enthusiasts will like the inclusion of QR codes with primary source videos and documents. VERDICT: This text could be used as a supplemental study guide for dedicated students."

Tom Heneghan, Reuters bureau chief in Bangkok for Thailand and Indochina in the late1980s
“The Vietnam War was the nightmare of my high school and college years, and I later covered post-war Vietnam as a foreign correspondent. This fine history gives today’s students both a clear overview of the conflict and the historical context to understand how it began and what its legacy has been.”

Matthew Masur, Associate Professor of History, St. Anselm College, co-editor of Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War
“A great introduction to the Vietnam War for young readers. Diggs’ book is clear, readable, and engaging. She takes an important but challenging topic and treats it with fairness and sensitivity.”

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Detailed Book Description

More than 58,000 American troops and personnel died in the humid jungles and muddy rivers of Vietnam during the 20-year conflict. But why? What were they fighting for? And how could the world's most powerful military be defeated by a small, poverty-stricken country?

In The Vietnam War, kids ages 12 to 15 explore the global conditions and history that gave rise to the Vietnam War, the reasons why the United States became increasingly embroiled in the conflict, and the varied causes of its shocking defeat. The Vietnam War also pays close attention to the development of a massive antiwar movement and counterculture that divided the country into "hawks" and "doves." As middle schoolers learn about how the fear of the spread of communism spurred the United States to enter a war that was erupting on the other side of the world, they find themselves immersed in the mood and mindset of the Vietnam Era.

Try these hands-on projects and investigations!

  • Create antiwar and pro-war demonstration slogans
  • Write letters from the perspective of a U.S soldier and a south Vietnamese citizen
  • Build arguments for and against the media's coverage of the war



What Was the Vietnam War?

Chapter 1
Vietnam’s Revolution Sparks War

Chapter 2
The Cold War Heats Up the Conflict

Chapter 3
Sinking Deeper into Hostilities

Chapter 4
Resistance and Division

Chapter 5
Spiraling to the End

Chapter 6
War’s Aftermath