Hailed as a "pithy and compelling account of an intensely relevant topic" (Kirkus Reviews), this wide-ranging volume offers a superb account of a key moment in modern U.S. and world history. Drawing upon the latest research in archives in China, Russia, and Vietnam, Mark Lawrence creates an extraordinary, panoramic view of all sides of the war. His narrative begins well before American forces set foot in Vietnam, delving into French colonialism's contribution to the 1945 Vietnamese revolution, and revealing how the Cold War concerns of the 1950s led the United States to back the French.
The heart of the book covers the "American war", ranging from the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem and the impact of the Tet Offensive to Nixon's expansion of the war into Cambodia and Laos, and the final peace agreement of 1973. Finally, Lawrence examines the aftermath of the war, from the momentous liberalization - "Doi Moi" - in Vietnam to the enduring legacy of this infamous war in American books, films, and political debate.
"Crisply concise.... Delves into the 'whys' of the war: why the Vietnamese fought against the United States, why the great powers were involved, why the war turned out as it did and why legacies of the war linger." (Dallas Morning News)
We've sent an email with your order details. Order ID #:
To access this title, visit your library in the app or on the desktop website.
Politically Slanting But Enjoyable Narrative
For an otherwise brief overview, it was detailed enough to really make the narrative flow. Sadly though, the author clearly has a political axe to grind, and Nixon remains his villain, just as Kennedy his hero. His heroes do bad things reluctantly, whereas his villains do it malevolently. The same is true in reverse for good things. I still have yet to hear one in which this war can be discussed objectively. Sigh. Perhaps we are still too early write anything objective about this war? In any case, if you can get past his personal political commentary (or if your political orientation aligns with his), you will find this a very informative and fascinating story. One of the more enjoyable reads of the Vietnam War. Peter Berkot also gets high marks for his performance in reading the material.
- Jonathan Hoyle