Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam

Longlist, National Book Awards 2018 for Young People's Literature

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge book cover
ISBN 9780670785063
Viking Children’s Books / Penguin Random House
Elizabeth Partridge author photo
Elizabeth Partridge

Elizabeth Partridge is the author of seventeen books, including Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam, and Marching to Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary. She's also written biographies on Dorothea Lange, Woody Guthrie, and John Lennon. More about this author >

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In March 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson sent troops into Vietnam. 57,939 American soldiers would be killed and seventeen years would pass before this controversial chapter of American history concluded with the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.

The history of this era is complex; the cultural impact extraordinary. But it’s the personal stories of eight people–six American soldiers, one American nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee–that form the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. From dense jungles and terrifying firefights to chaotic medic rescues and evacuations, each individual’s story reveals a different facet of the war and moves readers forward in time. Alternating with these chapters are profiles of key American leaders and events, reminding readers what was happening at home, including Kent State, Woodstock, and Watergate.