Christopher Goscha at Literary Review:
According to Max Hastings, it was ‘an epic tragedy’ for those who lived through it. From start to finish, the wars for Vietnam sowed death and destruction across the land. Starting with the outbreak of the French war with Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh in 1945 and ending with the inglorious American evacuation from Saigon in 1975, Hastings focuses on how combatants and civilians experienced war. He draws upon an impressive range of sources to take the reader into the line of fire. Through vivid descriptions and moving prose, he shows us the suffering, trauma and death that the French and especially American campaigns inflicted upon the civilians and soldiers on all sides who found themselves caught up in what turned into a conflagration of mind-boggling violence.
High politics is also here. To his credit, Hastings weaves into his narrative a more critical account of the communist regime than many authors have been willing to do.