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Hardcover Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph Book

ISBN: 193507105X

ISBN13: 9781935071051

Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Everything Americans know about the end of the Vietnam War is wrong, contends Richard Botkin, former Marine infantry officer and author of the groundbreaking book Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph.Now the inspiration for a major motion picture of the same name Ride the Thunder reveals the heroic, untold story of how Vietnamese Marines and their US advisers fought valiantly, turning the tide of an unpopular war and actually...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Botkin Nails it - The Right Story, Both Factually and Contextually

I review this work neither as a historian nor a critic. Rather, I am one who lived through the Vietnam years. This work adroitly captures both the deep discontent and dogged heroism of those years. I applaud Botkin for avoiding the temptation to lecture or sentimentalize. His account is straightforward storytelling at its best. That noted, a good story well told is the best mechanism for deep learning. Botkin's story gets the facts right while also completing the mosaic with the pain, discontent, and dedication of the era. In so doing, he introduces readers to real people, not icons or dogma. Well done!

CoVan comments

"Ride the Thunder" reads like a novel, teaches like a training manual on leadership, dedication, devotion to duty and esprit de corps! It is a testament, not only to the principle characters, but to all Marines, US and Vietnamese alike, who "participated" in that most crucial battle which was launched by the DRV solely for the purpose of strengthening its bargaining position at the Paris peace talks. Mr. Botkin goes one step beyond the usual warfare history and presents the personal sides of the main players. By bringing in family relationships, the reader gets a greater understanding of other things that came into play as critical battlefield decisions were made under great mental and physical stress at a time when the outcome of the situation could best be described as dire. Another dimension to the story is what happened to many of the Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The trials and ordeals of those who were sent to the reeducation camps and their families has never received much attention. In presenting this phase of their lives, Mr. Botkin highlights the fact that the majority of the "reeducated" returned home stronger than ever in their desire to live as free men. Many, their children and grandchildren, are now US citizens and contrbuting members of our society! This book is well written, well documented and painstakingly clarifies military terms and jargon which makes it less "threatening" to read for those not familiar with things Marine or military. Read "Ride the Thunder"! Thomas E. Gnibus LtCol, USMC, Retired Advisor, 2d Artillery Battalion, VNMC, 1971-1972

What Came After

Richard Botkin has written a vividly accurate account of one of the last American combat actions of the Vietnam War and what came after we Americans left. His portrayal of the critical actions of (then) Lt Col Gerry Turley, USMCR and Captain John Ripley, USMC is not only factually correct but punctuated with their personal insights and reinforced with multiple interviews of both U.S. and Vietnamese Marines who were there. Those of us who participated in these events are intimately familiar with the tenacity of the Vietnamese Marines, the individual battles for survival, the stand-out heroics of John Ripley and Ray Smith among others, and the tremendous leadership responsibilities executed by Turley. What we advisors, and no doubt the rest of America were not aware was the sacrifices by the South Vietnamese and their families and the severity and duration of the punishment levied against them by the North Vietnamese government when we left. If you have prejudices about the Vietnam War, put them aside and read this book. I am confident that you will come away with a broader view of this complex era, a deserved respect for those American and South Vietnamese Marines who fought that war...and, enjoy a fascinating, well written story along the way.

The Truth at Last!

I just finished reading this book and to be honest it brough tears to my eyes as I read about the heroism and sacrifice of the brave South Vietnamese and American Marines whose stories are told within its pages. As a Vietnam Vet and former US Marine, I found this book truly spellbinding and enlightening. Mr. Botkin is an exceptionally gifted writer who relates his story in a very compelling and entertaining way, filling every page with pathos, historical detail, action, and political insight. I personally know several of the participants in Mr. Botkin's book and he captures their personalities perfectly and in the most engaging way. Their acts of courage will inspire any reader who values the traits of a warrior. There is no need to resort to hyperbole when Mr. Botkin tells the story of several key participants in the defense of Quang Tri Province during the 1972 TET invasion by the North Vietnamese. Each of these participants, both Vietnamese and American, are larger than life heroes. Their stories are told in this book for the first time - and what stories they are! If you have an interest in the Vietnam War and would like to know the truth about how bravely our South Vietnamese allies fought and why they ultimately lost the war, this is a book you must have. I also highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in the human aspects of combat and the enduring triumph of the human condition despite overwhelming odds. In short, I consider this one of the very best books ever written about the Vietnam War.
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