This book was used as assigned reading in a leadership cohort training course I helped to facilitate for a group of civilian military workers. It is a very graphic and detailed accounting of one of the final actions included in the Viet Nam War. It is very meticulously and carefully laid out.
More than anything, what is laid out is the creation of what many would describe as a "no-win" situation. Leadership can involve navigating through a situation for which there is no "perfect solution" and for which there are no satisfactory or definitive answers. In the extreme of this situation, no matter what you do, people are going to die and your decisions are going to be subject to second guessing and analysis by others.
The presentation of all the surrounding facts and experiences of all involved is a good exercise in observing leadership in action. The account carries through the event itself and beyond to 30 years following. From the information provided through the "Lessons Learned" and the opposing views provided it's clear that even now, doubt remains as to whether the situation could have been handled any better. Further, strong profiles of those who dies in the resultant military action are made more personal and sympathetic and the sterile statistics that can be proffered in these situations take on faces and personalities.
The book itself is decidedly "military" and those outside of that spectrum may find that the narrative doesn't flow in a manner that makes for "easy reading." For those whoever that want to read a real-life scenario of leadership and decision making at all levels of a major international incident and who are equipped to appreciate the nuances and dynamics of what is at work, it should prove a profitable read.