Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War by Wallace Terry

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

An excellent read in which journalist and veterans advocate Wallace Terry collects the oral histories of 20 black men who served in Vietnam. In doing so, he captures the voices and vital stories of an often overlooked group of soldiers who, despite sharing similar experiences of racial discrimination, represent a rich variety of geographic backgrounds, military experiences, and attitudes toward the war. The men profiled here recount often brutal truths—including some of the most unfiltered and unsettling descriptions of bodily trauma I’ve encountered in literature—and many of their accounts are not particularly happy ones (for several, returning to America after the war presented a whole new set of struggles). But scattered throughout are moments of triumph that upend expectations and insights that get at the heart of what these men have seen and experienced and endured. This book is the real deal and a must-read for anyone interested in the Vietnam War.

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