This book is very similar to the Dummies guide to the Vietnam conflict. At my book store there are 150 books on Vietnam covering 6 shelves with 20 to 25 books per shelf. Most books are personal accounts or on the weapons and military methods. A few are more socio-political.
Every one of the above 150 books is essentially from the American perspective. For example in the present book near the back of this 350 plus page book there is an analysis of the 58,000 US combatants killed in action, i.e.: how many navy, air force, marines, army, etc. were killed. The book covers the history of the conflict in terms of what Ho Chi Minh wants to accomplish and then what is the US response. The fighting covers decades in mostly chronological order. It discusses the politicians, the cabinet members, the DOD people, the generals, the conflicts, the weapons, the geography etc. So overall one gets a reasonable picture of the conflict in a summary form.
There are black and white drawings, maps, photographs, quotations, historical notes, and special notes and inserts. If you were in the war and you wanted your son or daughter to get a quick idea of the conflict, start to finish this would be a reasonable summary book, or perhaps a gateway book to the subject. I would rate this book ahead of the Dummies book.
What is missing from this book and most others is the utter devastation caused to the stoic peoples of Vietnam by their own fighting and by the US invasion. Millions were killed and large parts of Vietnam were destroyed by herbicides. These events are not listed nor are they seriously acknowledged. So in that way the book tells only half the story and conveniently ignores the pointless destruction (since the US ended up withdrawing in the end). We get to understand the US politicians and what they did, and the actions of the US armed forces in some detail, but we somehow forgot about the millions of victims.
Jack in Toronto