In This Review

After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam
After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in Vietnam
By Ronald H. Spector
The Free Press, 1993, 390 pp

Spector, one of the country's leading military historians, served as a field historian in Vietnam in 1968the year this book covers. The book is not a memoir, however, but a clear and important description of the grim events that followed the Tet offensive. Spector demonstrates that the intensity of the fighting (measured in casualties) compared with periods in World War II, and he does an excellent job of describing the American forces that bore those losses. The book covers everything from White House decision-making to the war in the villages with a rare combination of empathy and unsentimental clarity. A model military history of a period often overlooked or reduced to stereotype in the popular memory of the war.