Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eyewitness: Vietnam War

Eyewitness: Vietnam War

Stuart Murray
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Dorling Kindersley, 2005   ISBN: 978-0756611668

To understand why the Vietnam War started,you have to go back to 1945, when Vietnamese nationalists decided that they no longer wanted to be part of France’s colonial empire. Led by Ho Chi Minh, the nationalists fought against French troops in what came to be called the First Indochina War. This conflict ended in the summer of 1954 when the French finally surrendered. During the war, the Vietnamese were supported by China, and after the surrender, the northern part of the country came under communist control to become the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The southern section of the country was called the Republic of Vietnam.

The United States was not happy to see communism spreading in Southeast Asia. They supported South Vietnam against her northern neighbor, and sent troops and military materiel to boost the South Vietnamese government.

In 1964, an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin inflamed an already volatile situation, and soon after President Johnson “committed the United States to waging war against Vietnamese Communists.”

This excellent Eyewitness title will give readers a comprehensive look at the Vietnam War. Topics covered include the history of the conflict, background on the leaders of countries involved, the weapons and machines used during the war, and how the injured were care for. On every double page spread there are sections of text, annotated period photos, and photos of memorabilia from the Vietnam War years. There are also maps and timelines to help readers better understand what is being described in the text.