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A History of the War
by Russell Freedman

Trade Binding | 160 pages | 7 x 10 | US$ 20.00
ISBN: 9780823436583 | 08-30-2016

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: FIFTH | Age: 10 up

Themes: War, Government & Politics, 20th Century
Recommendations: A*, K*, PW*, SLJ*

CCSS Codes:
RI.9-10.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

About the Book

Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman's Vietnam is a concise history of the protracted and controversial war in Indochina.

In an enthralling book, Russell Freedman provides a succinct account of perhaps the most puzzling and contentious of America's wars. Describing how a superpower caught up in Cold War politics became increasingly enmeshed in a conflict over 8,000 miles away, he then explains why twenty years later an exit was so difficult. In words and photographs he chronicles the unfolding events in Vietnam and at home as increasing numbers of young men were sent into the jungles to fight. After assessing the catastrophic damage, Freedman concludes the book with a hopeful epilogue on Vietnam today.

A glossary, source notes, bibliography and index are included.


VOYA Nonfiction Honor List 2017

Booklist Best Book of the Year Youth Nonfiction 2016

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016

School Library Journal Best Book of 2016

Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2017 Edition, Outstanding Merit

2017 Patterson Prize for Books for Young People Honor Book, The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College

Eureka! Book Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Readers, Silver/Honor Award, 2016, California Reading Association


★ “In an excellent study of the Vietnam War that examines the conflict and its aftermath from multiple angles, Freedman (We Will Not Be Silent) again tackles a complex historical event and breaks it down into an accessible account for young readers. . . . Poignant."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “A clear-eyed view of a watershed event.”—School Library Journal, starred review

★ “Solid history that doesn't shy away from difficult truths and important moral and political lessons."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Absorbing, concise, . . . stellar. . . . The text concludes with a thought-provoking and hopeful chapter on the reconciliation between the once embattled enemies. . . . A must for all history shelves."—Booklist, starred review

Classroom Discussion Questions with CCSS:

1. How did the Vietnam War “divide America”? Create a PowerPoint presentation. RI.9-12.1, 2, 3, 7/W.9-12.7, 8, 9

2. Compare and contrast the differences in opinions using evidence from the book. How did perspectives change over time? RI.9-12.1, 3, 7/SL.9-12.4

3. Discuss the effects of the Vietnam War both in Vietnam and at home. SL.9-12.1

4. Why did President Lyndon B. Johnson believe that fighting the war in Vietnam was necessary? Evaluate various explanations for his actions and events. RI.9-12.1, 2, 3

Educators' Guide
Educator's Guide featuring Instructional Standards.

Readers' Guide
VIETNAM Bonus Discussion Guide
Linking VIETNAM: A HISTORY OF THE WAR by Russell Freedman with THE VIETNAM WAR: A Film By Ken Burns & Lynn Novick