Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam (Hardcover)
We all have some sense of the Vietnam War, most of us viewing it as one of our major military failures. This granular coverage of a battle that U.S. forces ended up winning in the technical sense, but losing in every other way, is riveting for its lucid play by play coverage of how our soldiers fought against a motivated enemy. It also reminds us that our military and political leaders, in nearly every sense, were in denial of the forces against us and unwilling to respond to the needs of the front-line soldiers. I hope our current military leaders will read this book .— From Dave
A tragic tale that surgically dissects the battle for Hue and in the doing perfectly underscores the failures of our military and political leadership to understand Vietnam and why we should never have been there.
~ Dave— From Staff Favorites 2017
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in History
Winner of the 2018 Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Greene Award for a distinguished work of nonfiction
The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam. In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam's intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front's presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.
With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.
About the Author
Mark Bowden is the author of thirteen books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down. He reported at the Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, and other magazines. He is also the writer in residence at the University of Delaware. His most recent book is The Three Battles of Wanat: And Other True Stories.