• The Village

  • By: Bing West
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

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The Village  By  cover art

The Village

By: Bing West
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
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Publisher's Summary

Few American battles have been so extended, savage, and personal. A handful of Americans volunteered to live among six thousand Vietnamese, training farmers to defend their village. Such "Combined Action Platoons" (CAPs) are not a lost footnote about how the war could have been fought; only the villagers remain to bear witness. This is the story of 15 resolute young Americans matched against two hundred Viet Cong; how a CAP lived, fought, and died; and why the villagers remember them to this day.

©2002 Bing West (P)2011 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A minor classic about war." ( The Washington Post)

What listeners say about The Village

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It is like you were there!

Started this one and could not put it down. You get transported INTO the story. Your heart rejoices and grieves with the characters. You even cheer them on. Marines are special ♡ and my prayers follow them always 🙏🏻💓

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book

A great story into the depths of an incredible unit operating in a little Vietnam village. You get to know all the characters well, and the battles get intense. The only drawback is that it is a little hard to follow sometimes, most likely due to it being an audiobook, listened to and not actually read by you.

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An enjoyable read!

Would you listen to The Village again? Why?

The Village is a good guide for leadership who are looking for guidance in difficult situations.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are quite a few humorous shenanigans that take place when you bring marines together. Hiding prostitutes from a high ranking officer was my favorite scene. Don't be mislead though, there is a detailed history here of why the Marines are in the village that will satisfy anyone who is curious about Vietnam in the 1960s.

1 person found this helpful

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Memories

Good to know all was not in vain. Sadness and happiness return as opposing forces.

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Definitely worth your time

I wondered whether there would be enough action and there is. Detailed descriptions of guerilla style warfare as fought in a relatively small village (around 6000 people at the time). Doesn't gloss over the mistakes made by the USA but also doesn't forget about the brave US and Vietnamese men and women involved. Definitely an audiobook I will remember.

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Great Epilogue

While I thoroughly enjoyed the book as a whole, the epilogue was alone worth the price of admission. The story of the author’s return to the village was deeply moving.

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Breathtaking and timeless

Preface, I'm a little biased having a son who's a marine. That out of the way, This book is timeless. It could have been written last year. It is a very even handed account of one group of marines who made a difference! No search and distroy tactics in this book, no exaggerated accounts either. The story is honest and accurate. The unique thing about this book is the lack of negativity. There are sad moments to be sure, but it doesn't bring you down. The sacrifice of these young men was enormous, most gave all. If you like reading about militsry blunders, idiotic government bureaucracy, human nature, and individuals who rose to the occasion... Get this . I believe the tactics used by the Marines in this village were noble and if followed through would have won the war. That doesn't take away from the other Brave men and women who served in that war. It's interesting to note that the Vietnamese attitude towards Americans today is one of friendship and respect. They are possibly the nicest Asians in respect to us. I have to think the sacrifice of these and others who served honorably contributed. A modern book equal and similar to this is "joker one". It's about Marines in Iraq and is also an honest page turning account.

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Deserves to be a Classic

I titled this review as such because I believe this book has massive relevance to today's world. At a time where policy makers have thus far vacillated on how to deal with today's quagmired theaters of war, Bing West's account of living through a microcosm of victory in the Vietnam War is a treasure of knowledge that we cannot afford to ignore.

Beyond its informative value, the book is also simply thrilling. The story of small platoon half-staffed by handpicked Marines and completed with locals who found a way to stave off the resolve and manpower of much larger NVA and VC forces thrills from chapter to chapter. West's love for both the Marines and the locals they lived, fought, and died beside is impossible not to share. I absolutely urge all who find this book to read it. I will certainly be recommending it to many of my friends.

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A Proud Heritage

This was required reading for my unit prior to deployment to Iraq in 2005. The subtle aspects of counterinsurgency learned in this book served us well. It was nothing learned in a classroom or tactical setting per se, but living with other human beings you start to care for. It is said these are not more of the stories remembered from questionable wars.

Semper Fidelis Marines.

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The Village - Mico Study of Counterinsurgency

Story: A classic on COIN in one village (a large entity in Vietnam) and the techniques that were successful if not too late for the disaffect US media and public. A must read / listen for military leaders as well as a civic leaders on the need for multiple lines of effort in any society: security, economics, governance, and communication.

Reader: Good.

Production: Good.