Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Boots on the Ground by Elizabeth Partridge - ESSENTIAL

Partridge, Elizabeth Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam, 201 pages. Viking, 2018. $23. NON-FICTION. Language: PG (14 swears, 0 'F'); Mature Content: PG-13 (racial slurs, discussion of drugs and suicide); Violence: PG-13 (War violence). 9780670785063.

Telling the story of America's involvement in Vietnam is a complex task and one Partridge chooses to tackle through personal stories of eight individuals. Each person gets a chapter--or two--to tell their story. From soldiers and nurses serving in Vietnam to those involved in the creation of the Vietnam Memorial, the stories run the gamut and give a wonderful holistic view of this war. Interspersed with these stories are short chapters about the US Presidents who were in power during the Vietnam years. 

I really liked this book and felt it gave a new life to my understanding of the Vietnam War. The book is really well written and the way the author incorporates real quotes with the stories was great. The photographs included throughout the book are a huge bonus and add so much to the piece. This is a fairly slim volume, but there is so much quality history here I would recommend it highly to anyone. Is must be noted there is discussion of violence, drug use, suicide, as well as the mention of racial slurs so the material is a little more mature than the average middle reader book but I think this should still find a place in middle schools as well as high schools.


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