The Literary Hootch
part 2

General Westmoreland's Houseboy (and VC Spy) Talks
A Vietnam War Short Story.

Ghosts In The Wire
by Franklin D. Rast
Ghosts In the Wire is a vivid first-person account of what many veterans experienced upon their return from the war in Vietnam. It is a sequel to Rast's first book -- "Don's Nam," which quintessentially depicts his tour of duty in Vietnam during 1969 and 70 with the Orient Express.

The Ghosts of Vietnam: A memoir of growing up, going to war, and healing
by Jim Stewart
Raised in rural northeastern Maryland, Jim Stewart spends his childhood playing baseball, catching frogs in the woods, and learning to play guitar. A personal tragedy strikes the day he graduates from high school. Jim finds the need to leave home and joins the army in February of 1966.

After a grueling stint in basic training, Jim is shipped off to Vietnam as a military policeman. He endures mortar shelling, takes part in Operation Cedar Falls, and makes lifelong friends along the way. While stationed at Saigon, he even meets a girl, falls in love, and has a child.

After his tour of duty ends, Jim returns to Vietnam determined to be with Mai. When he starts working at the Army Post Exchange in Saigon, Mai gives birth to their daughter. Jim insists they move to America, but Mai refuses. Jim then makes a decision that will haunt him the rest of his life.

Rich with detail and brimming with emotion, Jim shares his extraordinary journey through a tumultuous time, revealing his internal struggles as he copes with "The Ghosts of Vietnam."

A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain
by Robert Olen Butler
The 15 stories collected here in this Pulitzer Prize book, all written in the first person, blend Vietnamese folklore, the terrible, lingering memories of war, American pop culture and family drama. Butler's literary ventriloquism, as he mines the experiences of a people with a great literary tradition of their own, is uncanny; but his talents as a writer of universal truths is what makes this a collection for the ages.

David Halberstam
Halberstam won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Vietnam, where he was a correspondent.

Hanging Tough is Tough
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

"After 19 months in Vietnam, I arrived at Camp Courtney Okinawa. I was to spend my last six months on active duty in the Marine Corps at the camp. It was December 1968."

Le Ly Hayslip
The author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places.

Larry Heinemann
Heinemann's prose style is blunt and straightforward, reflecting his working class background.

Michael Herr
A writer and former war correspondent, best known as the author of Dispatches.

George Herring
He is the author of numerous books, articles, and essays, including The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War.

Highway One
by James E. Davidson, Vietnam 1968
"When the light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam was getting pretty dim in 1968, the Pentagon decided to 'Vietnamize' the war. The United States' strategy was to turn the fighting over to the South Vietnamese, supplying them with weapons, material, and advisors. However, the problem with this new policy was not so much the persistence of the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers, but the American advisors and their advice. These Americans weren't necessarily incompetent, it was just that they were sent to Vietnam for only a one-year tour of duty and always felt like they had to do something. So when a young Army lieutenant, who only wants out of the Army, is sent to a small village to build a rifle range for the local self-defense force during his last fourteen days in-country, he becomes caught between the Army's gung-ho philosophy and the villagers' traditional Asian concept of the relationship between time and war. To further complicate things, he is drawn to a beautiful woman in the village who is mysteriously close to the local Viet Cong."

Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam
by Lynda Van Devanter
"How Van Devanter survives all of this to become, incredibly, a stronger person for it is what makes her book so riveting." --San Francisco Chronicle

How I Got that Story
A play in two acts by Amlin Gray.

In Country
by Bobbie Ann Mason
"In Country is both a powerful and touching novel of America that analyzes the impact of the 1960s on the culture of the 1980s and a beautiful portrayal of an often forgotten area of the country." --Library Journal

In the Army Now
by David A. Willson
Another entry from the chronicler of REMF life, this one a sort of prequel to the other two books. Watch with awe and dread as the unnamed narrator slides from reality into a surreal nightmare that seems to envelop everything around him. There isn't any Vietnam action in this book, since it chronicles the early Army days of the anonymous narrator, from basic training to AIT in Indiana, but the threads that will become major narratives in both "The REMF Diary" and "The REMF Returns" are quite visible here.

Incident at Muc Wa
by Daniel Ford
Daniel Ford's wonderful novel served as the basis for the excellent Vietnam War film, "Go Tell the Spartans."

It is Getting Better
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

"At last I was home. It was June 7, 1969 and I had just been released from my Marine Corps tour, which included 18 months in Vietnam. It felt great wandering the sidewalks in my hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Finally I was on solid ground."

Jack’s War Never Ended
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

A moving piece about a Vietnam War friendship.

The Last Hookers
by Carle E. Dunn
Colonel Dunn brings to life worldwide events that led America to Viet Nam. From President Truman to President Nixon, he shines light into dark corners of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the White House. Based on fact, he traces events from Germany, Japan, Great Britain, France, North and South Viet Nam and the United States that made America's involvement in Southeast Asia unavoidable.

Last Lambs: New & Selected Poems of Vietnam
by Bill Bauer
"Modern poetry has become more and more obscure and increasingly obtuse. "Last Lambs" is a refreshing movement away from the didacticism of most recent poetry and offers much insight into the personal experience of participating in the Vietnam War." --Amazon Reader

Legacy of Discord: Voices of the Vietnam War Era
by Gilbert N. Dorland
Probing interviews with leading participants in, and critical observers of, the Vietnam War.

The Library Card
A Vietnam War Short Story.

Life Was Simpler When I Carried a Duffel Bag
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

I remember when I started out in the military and life seemed simple. Everything I owned could be carried in my duffel bag. When it was time to move on, my fatigues, underwear, socks, boots, shoes, hats, etc. were all packed into the duffel bag, which was then locked with a padlock. I guess I didn't want anyone stealing any of my stuff.

The Living Wills
by Rick Kaempfer and Brendan Sullivan
A decision made in two seconds can change, damage, save, or even end a life. Henry Stankiewicz made such a decision in Vietnam, and he is still dealing with the ripple effects over 30 years later. Can he and the people he affected now maneuver their way through a world of baristas and Army veterans, Canadian cowboys and bowling teams, office politics and young love, to find the strength to heal before it's too late.

The Long Road Home: Vietnam Revisited, 1969 (A Video)
The story, photographed and written by a young Army photographer in 1969, reveals the beauty of South Vietnam and captures the customs of its people.

Major General Nguyen Van Hieu
by Tin Nguyen, Raymond R. Battreall
Meet one of the most gallant warriors of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. This biography depicts ARVN Major General Hieu under different facets: his personal life, his military career, his military exploits, and his unjust death. It reveals General Hieu as an unsung hero, whose tactical and strategic skills put him among the best soldiers of modern times, at par with General Rommel of Germany, Patton of the United States, Montgomery of England and Leclerc of France.

Memories Are Like Clouds
by Diana J. Dell
Set in the 1950s, "Memories Are Like Clouds" is a touching childhood memoir of a sister and her brother, who died in Vietnam. This poignant baby-boom story, filled with memorable characters, is a fond remembrance of growing up in small-town America when life seemed simple.

Memories of a Lost War: American Poetic Responses to the Vietnam War
by Subarno Chattarji
In this unique and significant addition to Vietnam studies, "Memories of a Lost War" analyzes the poems written by American veterans, protest poets, and Vietnamese, within political, aesthetic, and cultural contexts. Drawing on a wealth of material often published in small presses and journals, the book highlights the horrors of war and the continuing traumas of veterans in post-Vietnam America. In its inclusion of Vietnamese perspectives, the book marks a departure from earlier works that have largely concentrated on Vietnam as a war rather than a country.

NAM: Things That Weren't True and Other Stories
by Robert McGowan
Derived of the author's Vietnam War experience, the thirty-seven stories in this sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious collection look back at the Vietnam War from a distance of forty or more years, nearly a half-century, and via the perspectives of not only the soldiers themselves, but also their children, spouses, siblings, parents, friends. Nothing comparable to this collection exists within the literature growing out of the Vietnam War. NAM is hardly just another batch of macho war stories. These short fictions, most of them memoir-based, neither glorify nor even excuse war but come forward instead as eloquent testament to the tragic lunacy of it.

McGowan’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared as story collections, as book and catalog contributions, in anthologies, as weekly columns, in over five dozen prominent literary, art, and nature print journals in America and abroad, including American Forests, The Black Herald (France), Chautauqua, Connecticut Review, Etchings (Australia), The Louisiana Review, New Walk Magazine (UK), River Teeth, and South Dakota Review, and have been four times nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Richard Milhous Nixon's First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1969

President Nixon's "Silent Majority" Speech

Novel Without a Name
by Duong Thu Huong
"Vietnamese novelist Huong, who has been imprisoned for her political beliefs, presents the story of a disillusioned soldier in a book that was banned in her native country." --Publishers Weekly

The Literary Hootch, Part 1

The Literary Hootch, Part 3