Reading Athena's Dance Card

Men against Fire in Vietnam

  • Format:
    Hardcover
  • Pages:
    pages
  • Published:
    July 24, 2000
  • ISBN-10:
    1557503168
  • ISBN-13:
    9781557503169
  • Product Dimensions:
    9 × 6 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    16 oz
Hardcover $34.95
Member Price $27.96 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type

Overview

This investigation of the combat performance of U.S. soldiers and Marines in Vietnam presents a perspective of American ground troops in the war that many will see as a major first step in the long-overdue rehabilitation of the Vietnam veteran's reputation. Completely objective, the book is based on the results of two surveys conducted by Russell Glenn, an Army combat veteran with a Ph.D. in history. First the author surveyed members of the 1st Cavalry Division who fought in Vietnam, and then to help validate the results, he polled a sample of officers currently on active duty. His findings demonstrate that far from being the misfits many perceive them to have been, nearly all American combatants met the fundamental demand of combat: engage the enemy when called upon. This is a far different statistic from the 25 percent commonly attributed to U. S. ground forces in World War II.

The veterans' responses to Glenn's surveys and his review of other primary sources not only provide explanations for their willingness to engage their adversaries but allow the author to analyze the influence of their training, fixed duration combat tours, and frequent leader rotation on their performance under fire and their chances of survival. Overall, the study clearly indicates that these men's performances in combat and their dedication to their country compare favorably to those of their forefathers in World War II and Korea. These insights, in turn, offer a fuller understanding of the U.S. fighting man, particularly to those who must lead them in future conflicts.

About the Author