Reading List (Update):  the Vietnam War

By | December 24, 2020

[December 24, 2020]  A few days ago, southern New Jersey missed a major snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow in New York City.  Thus begins our Winter.  In combination with our state Governor’s new mandates designed to protect us from COVID-19, we spend far less time with friends and family.  Will this be a long, dark winter?  The book I am reviewing today, Edison 64 by Richard Sand, can be read like a long, dark winter.  The book is about Edison High School in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where 64 of its students died in the Vietnam War, the largest number from any school in the United States.  After receiving an autographed copy from the author (thank-you Mr. Sand), I found the book more of a homage to those who served and that it recognizes the honor these men so richly deserve.  Along the way, we get an insider’s view of Edison High School, the Philadelphia area’s social climate, and the kind of young boys that became men during wartime.

Edison 64: A Tragedy in Vietnam and at Home, Richard Sand, 2019

We love you, young men of Edison.”  Announced daily on the school public address system by Dr. Robert W. Clarke, Principle of Edison High School.  Thus begins this new book about the men from a small community who fought and lived and died during this war.

“Most combat soldiers are reluctant to share their experiences unless they are talking with another veterans.  Richard Sand’s compassion, empathy, and friendship with twenty Vietnam veterans, and family members of the 64 enabled him to gain their trust so they might share their personal stories.” – from the Foreword by the Honorable Tom Ridge

This book is a tribute to those who served in the Vietnam War; whether from their experiences “on the ground,” to those who flew over the skies, or plied the oceans nearby.  Author Richard Sand gives us a real, homegrown view of the war.  Starting with the poor economic and high crime conditions of the North Philadelphia area and taking us through the delays at the U.S. Veterans Administration for returning service members, we see for ourselves what these young men had to deal with to survive, or their families dealt with when notified of their death.  They were called horrible names and blamed for “killing babies” and other atrocities.  Our citizens, those in the United States, literally and figuratively spit on these men.  This was, indeed, a dark winter in America.  Mr. Sands gives us the real cost of war through the eyes of those who were there and through the families of those who never returned.

In “Edison 64,” Richard Sands re-creates those times of upheaval, disappointment, courage, terror, and heartbreak.  I read this as a disgraceful time in our history, not because of the decision for the U.S. to be part of the war, but because of the way our servicemen and women were treated upon returning home.  This book will capture your imagination and throw you back into those times.  It’s not easy.  I was there to witness how our Vietnam veterans were treated.  While Sand’s book tells the stories of young men from Edison High School, the school should be remembered as a place where these men grew up, lived as part of their community, and held onto the brotherhood of their town.  Their past is here for us to see.  Sand tells us a consuming tale of the men who fought in Vietnam and of the school that tied them to their brothers.

A book on the Vietnam War you will not want to miss. This book is highly recommended.

To go to the full Professional Reading list, click on this direct link:

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog.  His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here:

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “Reading List (Update):  the Vietnam War

  1. JimmieD

    My dad was in the Vietnam War. He never talked about it. Thank you for setting me upon this book. 😃

  2. JT Patterson

    I finally got the book in the mail. Now starting to read it and I like it so far.

    1. Jason from Alberta Canada

      Me too. Really really good book. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the impact of war.

  3. Valkerie

    I ordered the book and expect it from Goodreads within the next day or so. I look forward to it. Any book that Gen. Satterfield recommends, is good enough for me. Thanks for the review.

    1. Martin Shiell

      … and I agree. The more we read, the better we are. We get to learn from real military folks who were there, had the experiences, and are willing to provide us with feedback. You cannot just learn from one Vet, but from many. What you want to get is a ‘pattern’ of experiences so that you can compare your own and understand their’s better.

  4. Pink Cloud

    I think that I’ll be ordering this book. Oh, Merry Christmas to everyone.

    1. Greg Heyman

      Good book. I read it a couple of months ago and now I’m reading it again. Just to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. Easy read. Full of great stories. Merry Christmas!

  5. Willie Shrumburger

    Loved the review. Thank you Gen. Satterfield. Another book for my reading time. If you want to be a leader, then read … then think and write. That forces you to think better.

  6. José Luis Rodriguez

    Sometimes I fear that reading a book like this would depress me. Why? Simple, because I would be so ashamed at the behavior of so many people in the US that treated our vets so badly. The moral depravity of those who mistreated our military will go down as one of the worst chapters in human history.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      I too agree, Jose. Well said. And, I make it a point to bring this topic up whenever I’m in the company of so many college professors that I associate with. Whenever they talk about the V War in my presence they know to be circumspect, else they will get a public tongue-lashing from me.

    2. Student S3112

      Jose, excellent point. I make a game out of discerning which of my professors were anti-Vietnam War at the time and then doing my best to repeatedly embarrass them publicly. ☝️

  7. Jonnie the Bart

    Thanks Gen. Satterfield for a review of this book. I’d not heard of it before (despite it being new, I usually hear of books on the Vietnam War). I went to read the comments on Amazon and it looks like one I will be reading soon. Oh, I asked my son to get it for me for Christmas (might be a bit late though).

    1. Pink Cloud

      I think it will be getting to you sometime after Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all ….. and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all who are here reading these comments and especially to our armed forces and our veterans.

      1. Eric Coda

        Thanks Pink Cloud,,, merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

  8. Len Jakosky

    Looks like a superb book on the men who fought in the Vietnam War. I plan on buying several copies as I have done in the past with certain books. I will be given the extra ones away to those who think like me that our boys should be recognized and applauded for their service to our country. And, as part of my signoff today, I will figuratively “spit” on the news media, politicians, and even ordinary citizens who mistreated our returning veterans.

  9. Jake Tapper, Jr.

    Good book, have a copy that I’d ordered a few months ago. Being from Philadelphia, I knew about Edison High School and about our boys who never returned. It is about time that they were recognized.

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      Yes, I too am glad that this book was written. To me it was an emotional ride as I read thru the pages of Sand’s book. I also highly recommend it.

    2. Albert T Longden

      Dear Jake,
      I just read your comments to General Satterfield (Ret.), based on his review of Edison 64: A Tragedy in Vietnam and at Home, by award winning author Richard Sand, as featured in “The Leader Maker” blog. I quote:
      “Good book have a copy that I’d ordered a few months ago. Being from Philadelphia, I knew about Edison High School and about our boys who never returned. It is about time that they were recognized.” – Jake Tapper
      I am a veteran of the War in Southeast Asia (SSG, 1st Special Forces Group, 1966-1970 [Thailand, Laos, etc.]) and Publisher of this moving work. It has been Mr. Sand’s and my mission to do exactly what you stated, “It is about time that they were recognized.”
      With your encouraging words, I would like to know if you would be kind enough to “carry the water” for these stories. It would go a long way in getting the word out. Mr. Sand has dedicated literally years to conducting the interviews with family, friend, and returned veterans, coordinating with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C. for photos of each of the men, doing extensive research into the men, the war, the Donut Dollies, the canine corps, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, the publisher and Mr. Sand have agreed that over 50% of all profits will be donated to veteran’s causes. All that dedication should not be in vain.
      As we Vietnam Era Veterans march slowly into the most vulnerable categories of COVID-19 susceptibility, the stories are beginning to get lost. Your help would go a long way to keeping them alive.
      I trust you and yours had a wonderful Holiday Season and are looking forward to a wonderful 2021.
      Hoping to hear from you soon,
      Al Longden


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