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Publisher's Summary

Neglected by scholars and journalists alike, the years of conflict in Vietnam from 1968 to 1975 offer surprises not only about how the war was fought, but about what was achieved. Drawing on authoritative materials not previously available, including thousands of hours of tape-recorded allied councils of war, award-winning military historian Lewis Sorley has given us what has long been needed - an insightful, factual, and superbly documented history of these important years. Among his findings is that the war was being won on the ground even as it was being lost at the peace table and in the U.S. Congress. The story is a great human drama of purposeful and principled service in the face of an agonizing succession of lost opportunities, told with uncommon understanding and compassion. Sorley documents the dramatic differences in conception, conduct, and - at least for a time - results between the early and the later war. Meticulously researched and movingly told, A Better War is sure to stimulate controversy as it sheds brilliant new light on the war in Vietnam.
©1999 Lewis Sorley (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rodney W. Schmisseur on 02-05-14

A thought-provoking history of the war 68-75

What made the experience of listening to A Better War the most enjoyable?

The story is well written and Basil Sands renders a solid performance that is captivating and leads you through a complicated story with a number of pivotal events, Tet, Tet2, the logistical war into Cambodia and Laos, Quang Tri, the Cease-Fire, the "peace", and the downfall. Each is well told, and tied together nicely to explain why the war "after Cronkite" turned out the way it did.

What other book might you compare A Better War to and why?

In the introduction to the book, Sorley himself compares his work to Stanley Carnow's Vietnam: A History. Sorley's A Better War deals essentially with what was Nixon's war, the Geneva peace accords, and the abandonment of an ally under Ford and the post-Watergate congress.. Carnow's focus is on Johnson, Kennedy and earlier.

Have you listened to any of Basil Sands’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first experience with Basil Sand. Overall a very solid performance. I struggled with Henry Kissinger quotes in a de regueur German-accent -- too cliche, almost denigrating, but then his personification of General Abrams seemed to register -- part John Wayne, part Norman Schwarzkopf. I confess I've never heard an Abrams speech, but the tone and accent resonated. I can't have it both ways, so I'll give the performance a deserved credit -- it's captivating and well-paced.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story of the "making of the peace" and the realization that domestic politics and a divided nation that seemly had grown tired of everything remotely associated with the war sold the South down the river with an agreement that not only surrendered everything that had been gained between 1968 and 1972 but essentially paved the way for the NVA conquest in 1975. Abrams truly deserved a better war -- he had delivered something desperately close to victory only to see it sold to Watergate politics and moral fatigue. We come out as a decidedly flawed ally in the fight against communism.

Any additional comments?

I found myself going back and relistening to the chapters covering the success of American-supported Vietnamization -- the interdiction of the Ho Chi Mihn trail in Cambodia and Laos in 1970-71 and how that essentially dictated the NVA reaction in 1972. The storyline leads the reader through the events one-by-one and shows how each event became interconnected with the eventual outcome.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By John on 04-15-14

A Better Book!

What did you love best about A Better War?

I have never, in many member reviews, rated any Book as a % star, rxcepting this one! Not only is it a terrific story, it is read with feeling. As a Marine Vet I follow Vietbam History very closely. This one is not to be missed. Most revealing. Great Book that should be read by all Historians & the public as a whole. It paints an impressive story to much unpublished materials on this era. I am so glaad I fell into it. NDJohn

What did you like best about this story?

Listening to the Veitnam War tume frame of 1969 to 1971. Plus about Nixon. All Vets will enjoy this Book.

Which character – as performed by Basil Sands – was your favorite?

General Abrams by far! He gave me renewed hope.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, the Oh so sad ending!

Any additional comments?

Please give this Book some attention, NDJohn

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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