The author of the first book, John Wheeler, is a leading spokesman for the veterans of the Vietnam War. His book is a highly personal and idiosyncratic mix of exhortation, meditation, and memories. The MacPherson book is about the impact of the Vietnam War on the lives of those who fought and those who chose not to go. It is oral history on a grand scale and, like the subject, it is emotional, untidy and infinitely sad.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.