New York Times Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in History
Winner of the 2018 Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Greene Award for a distinguished work of nonfiction
"An extraordinary feat of journalism . . . full of emotion and color."—Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal
The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam.
In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam?s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front?s presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.
With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.
Veteran journalist Bowen (The Three Battles of Wanat) illuminates the gut-wrenching monthlong slaughter of one of the Vietnam War's bloodiest battles, in which American and North Vietnamese forces fought in the streets of the storied royal capital of Hu . Washington claimed a tactical victory, but Hanoi gained the psychological edge; the mismatch between official American claims and the dispatches emerging from American journalists undermined the already wavering resolve back home. This is grim storytelling at its finest; Bowen digs deep into the personal recollections of scores of participants to offer evocative portraits of beleaguered Marine grunts and the hapless commanders who sent them to their doom; stoic female Viet Cong commandos; and journalists who captured the unfolding tragedy that belied the infamously inaccurate body counts. But what grips the reader most are the stories of Hu 's trapped civilians, who, during the year's most festive holiday Tet, the Lunar New Year are hurled into an explosive maelstrom of fatal score-settling and destruction delivered by their own countrymen. Bowen confronts head-on the horrific senselessness of battle and the toll it takes on people, and he grants Hu the regard it deserves as a defining moment in a war that continues to influence how America views its role in the world.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great book but I way overpriced at thirty dollars for a digital download. Most I have ever paid for any book. I was looking at his other books and they are all in the 17 dollar range. No thanks.
I was Navy Fleet Marine Corpsman in Viet Nam, November 1966-December 1967 with
Bravo 1/7 1st Marine Division. I was in the middle of every bad place south of Chu Lai, then SW of DaNang.
When Westmoreland gave his "Light at end of the Tunnel song" we all knew it was the train bearing down on us. Tet and Hue was that train.
Mark Bowden's book, HUE 1968 is meticulously correct, and written with great heart.
"There it is!"
Dr.Wm Sargeant , Commander, USN (Ret.)
Kindle edition -> $9.50
Kindle is 1/3 of the price