The classic portrait of power and politics in the 1960s featuring the brilliant men who led the country into the Vietnam War, republished on its 20th ...Show synopsisThe classic portrait of power and politics in the 1960s featuring the brilliant men who led the country into the Vietnam War, republished on its 20th anniversary with a new introduction by the author.Hide synopsis
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Whether or not you lived through the Viet Nam war, this history is a must read. I have to admit it is VERY detailed and a broader history would be helpful in some instances, but it is worth time and effort. Not a book you'll read cover to cover at once, at least not in my opinion, but one everyone should attempt to add to their understanding of our political and foreign affairs.
The people, policies and decisions that inexorably brought this nation into a land war in Vietnam are revealed in this historical novel by David Halberstam. The powerful political figures working behind the scenes in Democratic and Republican presidential adminstrations following WWII are brought to life. Not simply an examination of the historical who, what, when and where but also the how and why that brought the United States into the Vietnam War. It examines the people who made up Kennedy's White House staff against the backdrop of U.S. policies in Asia, contrasting the views of foreign service officers in the field against the political pressure brought on with the birth of the Cold War. Halberstam draws the reader into a world of powerful, privileged men making decisions that would affect our nation's foreign policy to this day.
Halberstam was a professional iconoclast. His views on politics and war run from the naieve to the rediculous. If one compares this book with, say, Palmer's "summons of the Trumpet," one would wonder whether the two books were about the same war. At one point in a later book Halberstam tell his readers that there were (are) two kinds of communisim, the bad old Stalinist version and the pure aggrarian reformers, as in VietNam and North Korea. He apparently does not know of Kruschev's "wars of nantional liberation" that provided the fig leaf for massive Soviet aid to North VietNam.
Lots of passion, little of History.
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