"Masterful. . . . Logevall presents a vivid and tragic portrait of the elements of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from the beginning of the Kennedy administration through the announcement of the American ground war in July 1965.
In the process he reveals a troubling picture of top officials in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations persisting in efforts to boost the fortunes of sucessive governments of South Vietnam, even while they acknowledged that their chances for success were remote.
In addition, he places the decision-making squarely in the international context."Robert D. Schulzinger, author of A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975
"Stunning in its research and highly sophisticated in its analysis, Choosing War is far and away the best study we have of Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the conflict in Vietnam."George C. Herring
In this fine book, Fredrick Logevall offers the first detailed examination of why diplomacy failed to head off the Vietnam War. Grounding himself in documentary research and other sources from several countries, Logevall comes closer than anyone ever has to explaining what happened. His clear writing and deep analysis may well change our understanding of Vietnam as a quagmire."John Prados, author of The Hidden History of the Vietnam War
"A rising star among a new generation of historians, Fredrik Logevall has written the most important Vietnam book in years. By explaining the international context of that tragic conflict, Choosing War provides startling answers to the question, Why did the war happen? Controversial yet fair, this account challenges the reader to think through John F. Kennedy's and Lydon B. Johnson's individual responsibility for Vietnam. The effect is compelling, unforgettable history."Timothy Naftali, co-author of "One Hell of a Gamble:" Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964
His account of the diplomatic context in which President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to send American troops to fight in Vietnam is thorough and nuanced, and expressed with admirable clarity....[Argues] that the decision to "Americanize" the war in Vietnam, taken in what Logevall calls "The Long 1964" (mid-1963 to early 1965), was an error as clearly avoidable as it was tragic. The New York Times Book Review