"This book has been long needed: a concise, complete and dispassionate survey of the Vietnam War.... Best of all, the no-nonsense approach answers questions as soon as they arise in the reader's mind." Kliatt
"If there is such a thing as an objective account [of the Vietnam War], this is it.... If you want to read one book about Vietnam, read this one." New York Review of Books
A short, narrative history of the origins, course, and outcome of America's military involvement in Vietnam by an experienced guide to the causes and conduct of war, Larry H. Addington. He begins with a history of Vietnam before and after French occupation, the Cold War origins of American involvement, the domestic impact of American policies on public support, and the reasons for the ultimate failure of U.S. policy.
This book has long been needed: a concise, complete and dispassionate survey of the Vietnam War. Well indexed and with a good bibliography, it has obvious classroom utility and will make a good departure for more advanced study. It is also good for general readers. Those who wonder exactly what was happening during the long war years, and why, will also appreciate it. There are other historical overviews of the conflict in Indochina, but most suffer from an over-emphasis upon battles, tactics, and small-unit ground combat actions. The war's progress and ultimate culmination, however, rested upon the perceptions and actions of the highest levels of military and civilian command. It is here that the author's background shows to advantage. Professor Addington taught military history at the Citadel for many years, and was a frequent lecturer at the service war colleges and staff schools where he became familiar with the personalities and key issues that drove the war effort. He also is completely fair in his approach to the war's numerous controversies, writing with a total objectivity, which, compared with other writers, borders at times on the hygienic. The narrative is straightforward, broken down into numerous topics, and there are an adequate number of maps. Best of all, the no-nonsense approach answers questions as soon as they arise in the reader's mind. Recommended to school and public collections. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Indiana Univ. Press, 191p, bibliog, maps, 23cm, 99-41326, $12.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Raymond L. Puffer, Ph.D.; Historian, Edwards Air Force Base, CA, September 2000(Vol. 34 No. 5)