Not a Gentleman's War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War (Paperback)Ron Milam (author)
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Conventional wisdom holds that the junior officer in Vietnam was a no-talent, poorly trained, unmotivated soldier typified by Lt. William Calley of My Lai infamy. Drawing on oral histories, after-action reports, diaries, letters, and other archival sources, Ron Milam debunks this view, demonstrating that most of the lieutenants who served in combat performed their duties well and effectively, serving with great skill, dedication, and commitment to the men they led. Milam's narrative provides a vivid, on-the-ground portrait of what the platoon leader faced: training his men, keeping racial tensions at bay, and preventing alcohol and drug abuse, all in a war without fronts. Yet despite these obstacles, junior officers performed admirably, as documented by field reports and evaluations of their superior officers.
More than 5,000 junior officers died in Vietnam; all of them had volunteered to lead men in battle. Based on meticulous and wide-ranging research, this book provides a much-needed serious treatment of these men--the only such study in print--shedding new light on the longest war in American history.
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 381 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 15 mm
Edition: New edition
Contributes significantly to the historiography of the war and our understanding of the U.S. Army in the 1960s and early 1970s. . . . Highly recommend[ed] . . . to historians of the Vietnam War era.--The Journal of American History
Milam, himself a Vietnam veteran, comes to the topic with plenty of passion and a desire to right the record.--The Chronicle Review
Highly recommended for historians of the Vietnam War and the United States Army. [Milam's] very useful comprehensive treatment of pre-commissioning training will remain the best single treatment of this issue for years to come.--Journal of Military History
Primarily useful to military history insiders, Vietnam War veterans, and advanced scholars. . . . Recommended.--Choice
A useful corrective to those histories denigrating the contributions of junior officers in Vietnam and a solid contribution of collective biography.--Army History
Milam uses extensive interviews . . . and other archival resources to paint a more accurate and realistic picture of junior officer performance in Vietnam. . . . This is an important and relevant book, one that scholars of the Vietnam War should read, and that ROTC programs and the Military History Department at West Point should add to required reading lists for officer candidates.--Military History of the West
This is a good book and an easy read and should be required reading for anyone who wants to better understand the contributions of the junior officers who, unshaven and with muddy boots, carried so much of the burden of the ungentlemanly war in Vietnam.--Journal of America's Military Past
Useful in depicting the terrific pressure junior officers were under in Vietnam.--History Wire
Not a Gentleman's War fills a void in the scholarship of the Vietnam War. Much has been written about generals and enlisted men, but this is the first study that looks at the junior officers' war and the challenges they faced." --On Point
This book addresses an important topic and should become a standard work in the historiography of the war.--American Historical Review
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