Drawing on a wealth of new evidence, an eminent military historian and expert on American diplomatic and intelligence history demonstrates that government officials were right to believe that the fall of South Vietnam would endanger the security interests of the United States.Drawing on a wealth of new evidence, an eminent military historian and expert on American diplomatic and intelligence history demonstrates that government officials were right to believe that the fall of South Vietnam would endanger the security interests of the United States.Read Less
5pp plates. Binding corner bumps. A small chip from rear cover. Good. 24x15cm, xxvi, 512, (5)pp, An ink mark to bottom page-edge. ["Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States. The book provides many new insights into the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and demonstrates that the coup negated the South Vietnamese government's tremendous, and hitherto unappreciated, military and political gains between 1954 and 1963. After Diem's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson had at his disposal several aggressive policy options that could have enabled South Vietnam to continue the war without a massive US troop infusion, but he ruled out these options because of faulty assumptions and inadequate intelligence, making such an infusion the only means of saving the country"-Publisher's description].
Reader beware: this isn't Oliver Stone's Vietnam. Moyar explores the embryonic stages of the Vietnam conflict from a perspective different than most contemporary histories. This is not a "war" book in that the majority of the content has more to do with the political and social aspect of a divided Vietnam from 1954 to 1964. He thotoughly explores the presidency of Ngo Dinh Diem and that of Ho Chi Minh, somparing and contrasting their different methods of leadership and rule. And the information he writes is in conflict with what we've come to believe about Vietnam. Moyar tends to be a bit wordy, but effectively communicates his theories and theses thoughout the book.
Jul 24, 2007
Vietnam's lessons for us
Mark Moyar has written a ?revisionist? history of the beginning of U.S. direct involvement in Viet Nam. History is constantly being revised as new information comes out and people take the time to really think or rethink logically about the new facts. He notes that Diem and Nhu were intent on redistributing land. ?They built schools, hospitals, and places of worship for the masses.? Moyar states they ?employed many of the undemocratic methods used by other authoritarian leaders of the twentieth century, not only because they considered Western democracy incompatible with a Vietnamese culture imbued with authoritarianism and a Vietnamese populace largely ignorant of national politics, but also because democracy inhibited the implementation of drastic change and the suppression of subversion.? This is actually an important lesson provided by this work. In discussing proposals by a member of the Durbrow school of dealing with the Vietnamese Diem told a listener that the ?Taylor mission had produced an outcome similar to that of General George Marshall?s mission to China during the Chinese civil war, for in both cases the Americans decided to force-feed liberal Western concepts that were ill-suited to the local circumstances and culture.? If doesn?t sound familiar, read the book and compare Durbrow?s, Averell Harriman?s and Henry Cabot Lodge?s actions to that of Bremmer and others. Mark Moyar also points out how various, now famous reporters, used questionable information to help bring down the Diem regime because of personal spite. Halberstam and Sheehan were among them. It is also interesting to find out how U.S. domestic politics (JFK appointed Lodge, a Republican, to be Ambassador to Saigon in the summer of 1963) played a major role in the disastrous turning point of the Viet Nam War, the overthrow and assassination of Diem and Nhu. Though history does not repeat itself exactly, there are lessons to be learned and situations that can be avoided from the lessons of the past. I recommend this work to everyone, especially journalists and ?patriots?; and to those with an interest in preventing unnecessary and illegal wars.
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