What reviews have had to say about Counterinsurgency: What the United States Learned in Vietnam, Chose to Forget, and Needs to Know Today.

National Publications

Counterinsurgency is a concise, clearly written, compact book that presents the fundamentals of counterinsurgency and, most important, contains a wealth of practical tips for Americans working as advisers with host-nation counterparts.
…an excellent handbook on a vitally important subject.
…a ‘must read’ for anyone involved in—or just interested in—counterinsurgency operations.”
VIETNAM magazine

“Donovan has crafted another incredible book.
Counterinsurgency is superbly written, impeccably organized, and will unquestionably benefit everyone who reads it. It clearly exceeded the high expectations I had for it.”
INFANTRY magazine

“(Counterinsurgency) is a book that deserves a place on professional military and U. S. foreign policy reading lists.
This book is arguably the best place to begin studying counterinsurgency.
Consider it the newest and best foundational primer on its subject for American audiences.”
Military Reviews journal


Counterinsurgency has been reviewed on both the Amazon and the Barnes & Noble websites.  The following are typical examples.

“This is one of the best COIN books I have read.  It’s a must read for every soldier involved in a COIN fight.”

“For any serious student of counterinsurgency, whether civilian or military, this is an essential book to have inn your library.
It is simply the best book on this subject I have ever read.”

“Extremely well-organized and readable for military professionals or counterinsurgency neophytes.  This book should be required reading for military, state department, politicians, and CIA personnel at all levels.”

(Counterinsurgency) has the style of a handbook rather than an academic textbook and contains the careful reflections of someone who has “been there and done that.”

What reviewers have had to say about Murphy Station.

National Publications

“Readers expecting tales of a Tom Sawyer-like rural Georgia boyhood…will not be disappointed.  (Donovan’s) informal, commonsense prose style reinforces the book’s down-to-earth tone and enables the author to tackle more serious issues.  His greatest achievement is his ability to explain the daily workings of racism and segregation with both candor and genuine regret while avoiding the alternating dangers of flippancy and debilitating guilt.”
Journal of Southern History


Murphy Station has been reviewed on both the Amazon and the Barnes & Noble websites.  The following are typical examples.

"Murphy Station" is a well-written, intelligent account of a turbulent time in American history. Whether they grew up in rural America or in downtown New York city, anyone who enjoys a slice of American history served up as well as it is done here by Donovan, will relish this book. Mr Donovan, you've done it again---a great effort!”

“Anyone growing up in the south in the forties, fifties, and sixties will know that Mr. Donvan describes it exactly as it was. . . even down to the type of dirt under the house to the racial divide. I remember getting Johnny Cookies out of a jar at Murphy's Station. An excellent read!”

“In his customarily lean style Donovan utilizes simple, declarative sentences in this book to address some complex moral issues. Woven into his humorous and warm stories of rural life in South Georgia of the fifties and sixties are opportunities for the reader to contemplate two primary things, hobgoblins created by politics and the age-old tensions in the relationships between people of disparate ethnic backgrounds. It is obvious that Donovan is close to his subject. His affinity for the people, places, and institutions of his hometown shine through clearly enough. His intelligent approach to difficult subject matter gives the stories weight. In this book Donovan has created a valuable addition to the rich tradition of Southern literature.”

“This fascinating book highlights many of the struggles the South has fought -- and is fighting -- to overcome, but more importantly it gives an intimate look into the lives and lifestyles of an important time, place and people in American history.”

“Murphy Station is just what I was expecting - a wonderful book about memories of family, the everyday experiences of growing up on a farm in south Georgia in the 50's and 60's, and a better understanding of how it was and felt at that time in our country's history.”

“I feel strongly that Donovan's memoir is an important work. I will urge my children to read it as they enter adulthood so they understand this man's balanced perspective on this period of American history.”

What reviewers have had to say about Once a Warrior King:
National Publications

“…an engrossing memoir…that casts light far beyond the small corner of the Mekong Delta the author so meticulously describes.” “(Donovan’s) memoir...provides valuable documentation on a relative obscure part of the American military effort—it describes how the war really worked on the front line of “Vietnamization,” the training of local militia.”

New York Times newspaper

“Donovan lived with (the Vietnamese), fought with them, laughed with them, and got to like them. His book is…long on the human touch.” “His book is sensitive…moved me deeply…”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper

“…a welcome addition to the books on Vietnam…” “Ill equipped and isolated from other American units, (Donovan’s) ragtag group of local militia operated in a surreal world where death and wounds were all too real. “…an honest and heartfelt attempt to convey the Vietnam experience.”

Denver Post newspaper

“Donovan’s book vividly re-creates the suspense of night ambushes and the high-pitched emotions of surprise attacks and man-to-man warfare in the swamps and jungles of the Delta. It also shows how Donovan became involved with the lives of the civilians of Tram Chim in a role beyond that of military advisor.” “…an exciting read…a delightful insight into a bit of an American hero.”

Virginia Pilot and Ledger Star newspaper

“An accurate and absorbing account…A very different experience from most Americans in Indo-China.”

U. S. News and World Report magazine

“…the moving memoir of 1st Lt. David Donovan…splendidly written.”
Army magazine

“David Donovan’s haunting personal reminiscence about Vietnam qualifies as my “book of the year.”

The American Spectator magazine

“One of the best books to come out of the Vietnam experience—combines a striking sense of immediacy with an intelligence and integrity lacking in most other accounts of the war.”

“A recommended work, combining an effective descriptive style, an unusual venue and considerable candor.”
Library Journal

“A gripping account of an idealistic U. S. Army first lieutenant’s leading a five-man team in securing a rural area on the Mekong Delta in 1969.”
Kirkus Reviews  


Once a Warrior King has been reviewed on both the Amazon and the Barnes & Noble websites. The following are typical examples.

“Fear, anxiety, exhaustion, isolation, and confusion blended into an environment that this book describes like none that I have read.”

“This is absolutely the best first hand account of the Vietnam War. Very well written detailed, and introspective.”

“Absolutely the best personal history of the Vietnam War I’ve ever read. Should be required reading.”

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