• They Marched Into Sunlight

  • War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967
  • By: David Maraniss
  • Narrated by: David Maraniss
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (86 ratings)

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They Marched Into Sunlight  By  cover art

They Marched Into Sunlight

By: David Maraniss
Narrated by: David Maraniss
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Publisher's Summary

Here is the epic story of Vietnam and the sixties told through the events of a few tumultuous days in October 1967. With meticulous and captivating detail, They Marched Into Sunlight brings that catastrophic time back to life while examining questions about the meaning of dissent and the official manipulation of truth, issues that are as relevant today as they were decades ago.

In the long Nguyen Secret Zone of Vietnam, a renowned battalion of the First Infantry Division is marching into a devastating ambush that will leave sixty-one soldiers dead and an equal number wounded. On the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, students are staging an obstructive protest at the Commerce Building against recruiters for Dow Chemical Company, makers of napalm and Agent Orange, that ends in a bloody confrontation with club-wielding Madison police. And in Washington, President Lyndon Johnson is dealing with pressures closing in on him from all sides and lamenting to his war council, "How are we ever going to win this war?"

Based on thousands of primary documents and 180 on-the-record interviews, the story unfolds day by day, hour by hour, and at times minute by minute with a rich cast of characters as they move toward battles that forever shaped their lives and evoked cultural and political conflicts that reverberate still.

©2003 David Maraniss (P)2003 Simon & Schuster, Inc
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Maraniss...is a writer with a masterly sense of narrative pace...The tale unfolds with a magisterial sweep that recaptures the war and its era." (The New York Times Book Review)
"A moving remembrance for those who lived through it and an illuminating lesson for a new generation trying to understand what it was all about." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about They Marched Into Sunlight

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Overwhelming

Factual, balanced, even-handed and overwhelming. This audio book is indeed thought-provoking at the least and full of sadness and a sense of waste. It should be required reading....

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Visit Thru History

Action-packed and authentic, Maraniss takes you to a time-warp of history where you re-live the same moments in a bloody Viet Nam massacre and inside the halls of a university protest in Madison Wisconsin where police batons slam into student skulls. If you lived these years, the confusion, innocence and outrage are still there in your soul. Great reading experience, as usual, with David Maraniss at the keyboard.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Too brief but good

Narration: a bit labored but tolerable.

Story: interesting joining of catastrophic, avoidable ambush (metaphor for viet war entire) and signal demonstration.

Abbreviated format probably much less informative than original format.

Overall, a worthwhile listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Poorly Written Poorly Recorded Poorly Performed

Terrible. The story should have been fascinating- comparing the lives of students demonstrating on UW-Madison campus to young men fighting in Vietnam and tying it all in with two events unfolding simultaneously. A great idea that was executed so badly I say confidently that this is the worst purchase I have made on Audible.

The Madison story is hardly a story at all. Told briefly and uninterestingly, it covers the experiences of one student radical, Paul Soglan, on one day in which he experienced minor injuries from police clearing a building of occupiers. Oh yeah, radicals blew up a campus building on 8/24/70 (three years after Soglan needed a bandaid and an ice pack). The bomb killed a father of three and injured four more. Maraniss makes no mention of this event or of the lives, events and people involved in the campus demonstration movement, which would have been fertile ground for a story teller.

The war story is written slightly better but so dryly as to take all the emotion and interest out of it. Essentially it is a list of combat casualties.

Finally, the recording quality and editing is embarrassing. Long gaps in the recording in the middle of paragraphs. Inarticulate reading. The book title is even misread TWICE, saying it is a book of events from “1976” (instead of 1967). Nobody edited this audio book! Nobody bothered to listen to it after recording. It is a disgrace that Audible sells this garbage.

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Lucky me

I was in the Bn Cdr's Cp HQ Company, 2/28, 1965-66) group as a RTO less than a year prior to this battle. My replacement was killed.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Captures the Vietnam War era

In this relatively short book, David Maraniss captures the horrible war, the college protests, and the out of touch political and military leadership. Well worth listening to. It will stay with me a long long time