Princeton University Library Catalog

Vietnam [electronic resource] : the history of an unwinnable war, 1945-1975 / John Prados.

Prados, John [Browse]
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, ©2009.
1 online resource (xxvii, 665 pages) : illustrations.
Modern war studies. [More in this series]
Summary note:
The Vietnam war continues to be the focus of intense controversy. While most people, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, historians, pundits, and citizens alike, agree that the United States did not win the war, a vocal minority argue the opposite or debate why victory never came, attributing the quagmire to everything from domestic politics to the press. The military never lost a battle; how then did it not win the war? Stepping back from this overheated fray and drawing upon several decades of research the author takes a fresh look at both the war and the debates about it to produce a reassessment of one of our nation's most tragic episodes. He weaves together multiple perspectives across an epic-sized canvas where domestic politics, ideologies, nations, and militaries all collide. He patiently pieces back together the events and moments, from the end of World War II until our dispiriting departure from Vietnam in 1975, that reveal a war that now appears to have been truly unwinnable due to opportunities lost, missed, ignored, or refused. He shows how, from the Truman through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, American leaders consistently ignored or misunderstood the realities in Southeast Asia and passed up every opportunity to avoid war in the first place or avoid becoming ever more mired in it after it began. Highlighting especially Eisenhower's seminal and long-lasting influence on our Vietnam policy, he demonstrates how and why our range of choices narrowed with each passing year, while our decision making continued to be distorted by Cold War politics and fundamental misperceptions about the culture, psychology, goals, and abilities of both our enemies and our allies in Vietnam.
Bibliographic references:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 551-612) and index.
Source of description:
Print version record.
  • 9780700623631 ((electronic bk.))
  • 0700623639 ((electronic bk.))
  • ((cloth ; : alk. paper))
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