From the publisher of two extraordinary books about the Vietnam War. Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes acclaimed as the best realistic combat novel of the war and The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen winner of the Pulitzer Prize among numerous awards and is a tour de force from the Vietnamese side. Grove Atlantic brings you Mark Bowden’s Hue 1968 which will be recognized as one of the greatest narrative nonfiction books about the war.
Early Praise for Hue 1968
“Hue 1968 unravels one of the great mysteries of our time—how a puny force of North Vietnam regulars and local sympathizers could without warning occupy South Vietnam’s second largest city, hold it for a month, then disappear into the mountains, beyond reach and largely unbloodied. It turns out the force wasn’t puny, but fanatical warriors who gripped their prey by the throat and wouldn’t let go. They were unfazed by waves of counter-attackers, Vietnamese and American soldiers, but mostly Marines rushed in to defeat them. Hue 1968 shows the enormous challenges facing both sides and how they overcame them, or tried to. Did the Battle of Hue end up as a victory or defeat? The answer depends on who’s asking and who’s telling. Bowden takes on both roles and does it well.”—Lieutenant Colonel Charles A. Krohn (ret.), author of The Lost Battalion of Tet
“Hue 1968 is, by far, the most comprehensive (and balanced) coverage on this battle I’ve seen. Like never before, I’ve come to realize how narrow a perspective we low-level participants unavoidably had. While giving due respect to the abilities, actions and fighting spirit of the U.S. and ARVN Marines and soldiers who participated, Mark Bowden brought clarity to the larger intelligence, political and strategic shortcomings that made the prosecution of this battle so much more challenging and costly than it needed to be.”—Brigadier General Mike Downs, USMC (ret.)
“The longest and fiercest fighting of the Tet Offensive took place in and around Hue in early 1968 where Communist North Vietnam suffered a terrible military defeat. Yet the fight for Hue became a political victory for the leaders of North Vietnam and a turning point for US involvement and support for the war. Through searing personal accounts of many on both sides who were there, Mark Bowden reveals the intensity of the fighting. Relying on archival documents now available after 50 years, he also examines the considerations and decisions of political and military leaders at the highest levels. This book is a tragic tale of misunderstanding but also one of great heroism and sacrifice by those who fought in the streets of Hue and in the nearby rice paddies and villages.”—Brigadier General Howard T. Prince II, USMC (ret.), Commanding Officer, Bravo Company, 5/7 Cavalry, 1968
“Mark Bowden uniquely describes the battle from both sides of the front lines and vividly captures the remarkable courage and valor of those that participated in the crucible of war that was Hue City in January to March 1968. Surely to be an historical standard for the recollection of that Tet 1968 battle.”—Colonel Chuck Meadows, USMC (ret.), Former Commanding Officer of Golf Company 2ndBn 5thMar
“I am a US Marine Vietnam veteran who participated as a tank crewmen in the Tet 1968 battle for Hue City. I have read just about every written account of the month-long battle, and I have to say that all of the other well-written, well-documented accounts of the battle pale in comparison to Mark Bowden’s Hue 1968. There is no more complete, accurate and detailed book. It reads like a novel even though is it made up almost exclusively of very personal accounts.”—John Wear, president of the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association