In his Acts and Shadows, Philip K. Jason points out that American literature on the war in Vietnam has gone through four phases: battlefield accounts, the situation of returned veterans, the Vietnamese immigrant experience, and writing that uses the war as background experience in the transformation of fictional characters. The book’s ten short, readable chapters survey the literature that comprises these themes plus two guides for teaching chapters that professors will welcome. H. Bruce Franklin’s Vietnam and Other American Fantasies is a tour de force study of comic books, Star Trek, news coverage, and films appropriate for students from beginner to advanced. The most comprehensive and engaging entry in this category is Mark Heberle’s edited volume Thirty Years After: New Essays on Vietnam War Literature, Film, and Art. The volume includes papers by Tim O’Brien, Philip Beidler, Wayne Karlin, Michael Zeitlin, and thirty other critics who convened in 2005 at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Brenda Boyle’s edited collection The Vietnam War: Topics in Contemporary North American Literature and her study Masculinity in Vietnam War Narratives should be available to serious scholars. The contribution of Katherine Kinney’s Friendly Fire to gender studies is accomplished largely through studies of film and literature, which makes it fit for entry here as well.
Peter Cowie’s The Apocalypse Now Book is a behind-the-screen look at the making of director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 drama, one of Hollywood’s most important films about the war. Tim Page’s Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side collects the work of photographers who documented the North Vietnamese and “Viet Cong” sides of the war. It is an excellent companion piece to the books by Larry Berman, David Hunt, and Robert Topmiller, all cited above.