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What Was the Vietnam War?



Illustrated by TIM FOLEY

Which of these facts are true?

It divided the United States like no event since the Civil War

58,318 American soldiers lost their lives in a war on the other side of the world

It made a president so unpopular that he decided not to run for reelection

All of the above

Learn how the United States ended up fighting for twenty years in a remote country on the other side of the world.

The Vietnam War was as much a part of the tumultuous Sixties as Flower Power and the Civil Rights Movement. Five US presidents were convinced that American troops could end a war in the small, divided country of Vietnam and stop Communism from spreading in Southeast Asia. But they were wrong, and the result was the death of 58,000 American troops. Presenting all sides of a complicated and tragic chapter in recent history, Jim O’Connor explains why the US got involved, what the human cost was, and how defeat in Vietnam left a lasting scar on America.

Jim O’Connor is a children’s author. His books include Jackie Robinson and the Story of All-Black Baseball, Let’s Hear it for the Shrumps!, The Puck Stops Here!, The Ghost in Tent 19, Call Me Gretzky, and many books in the popular Who Was? series.


All proceeds support the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s mission.