The American Experience in Vietnam: Reflections on an Era is a heavily illustrated, magazine-format coffee-table book first published in 1988. It’s a distillation of Boston Publishing Company’s big-selling, twenty-five volume, in-depth examination of the Vietnam War that came out in increments beginning in 1979—the one, you may remember, that was marketed and distributed by Time-Life Books.
A revised and expanded edition of the single volume edited by two of the writers of the series—the historians Clark Dougan and Stephen Weiss—recently has been published (Zenith Press, 336 pp., $40). The new book contains updated material, including a preface by Vietnam veteran Nick Mills, who wrote one of the volumes of the original series.
The heart of the book is a well-written, objectively presented history of the war that includes a lot of military history—“the major military operations, heroic firebase defenses, and bloody mountaintop battles,” as Mills puts it.
This latest edition also contains new material, mainly on the war’s legacy among Vietnam veterans.