Cold War Mandarin / Edition 1

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Overview

For almost a decade, the tyrannical Ngo Dinh Diem governed South Vietnam as a one-party police state while the U.S. financed his tyranny. In this new book, Seth Jacobs traces the history of American support for Diem from his first appearance in Washington as a penniless expatriate in 1950 to his murder by South Vietnamese soldiers on the outskirts of Saigon in 1963.

Drawing on recent scholarship and newly available primary sources, Cold War Mandarin explores how Diem became America's bastion against a communist South Vietnam, and why the Kennedy and Eisenhower administrations kept his regime afloat. Finally, Jacobs examines the brilliantly organized public-relations campaign by Saigon's Buddhists that persuaded Washington to collude in the overthrow—and assassination—of its longtime ally.

In this clear and succinct analysis, Jacobs details the "Diem experiment," and makes it clear how America's policy of "sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem" ultimately drew the country into the longest war in its history.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This story is well told and engagingly written. . . . Recommended.
H-War
A well-written, well-researched, and considered discussion of the failures of Diem’s regime. . . . Jacobs’s account is balanced, informative, and convincing. He outlines the negative effects of Diem’s regime without an overly critical view of his motives or capabilities as a public administrator. Jacobs’s work certainly sheds light on the international and U.S. political context of Cold War events, Diem’s personal and political background, his actions and administrative policy, and the collapse of his government.
— Deborah Kidwell, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth
Marilyn Young
Seth Jacobs's Cold War Mandarin is a perfect introduction to the complexities of the U.S. war in Vietnam. Jacobs rescues Ngo Dinh Diem from the simplicities to which he was often reduced in his life time and through his life and death offers readers a profound understanding of how he and the Americans with whom he dealt led both countries ever deeper into war.
Robert D. Schulzinger
Seth Jacobs's Cold War Mandarin tells the astonishing and tragic tale of Ngo Dinh Diem's failed leadership of South Vietnam. This fast-paced narrative puts readers in the midst of American policy makers' many miscalculations that set the United States on course for participation in a doomed war.
Andy Rotter
Cold War Mandarin is a superb examination of the complicated relationship between Americans and their difficult ally Ngo Dinh Diem. Part tragedy, part farce, laden with blundering, cupidity, and pathos, the story is an object lesson in how not to conduct foreign policy. Jacobs tells the tale with wit and grace, sensitive to the parties involved but properly critical of their foolishness and arrogance. Cold War Mandarin is essential reading for students and teachers of the Vietnam War.
Frank Costigliola
Cold War Mandarin is impressively researched, judicious, and reads like a novel. A natural for classroom use.
CHOICE
This story is well told and engagingly written. . . . Recommended.
H-War - Deborah Kidwell
A well-written, well-researched, and considered discussion of the failures of Diem’s regime. . . . Jacobs’s account is balanced, informative, and convincing. He outlines the negative effects of Diem’s regime without an overly critical view of his motives or capabilities as a public administrator. Jacobs’s work certainly sheds light on the international and U.S. political context of Cold War events, Diem’s personal and political background, his actions and administrative policy, and the collapse of his government.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742544482
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: Vietnam: America in the War Years Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,041,134
  • Product dimensions: 0.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Seth Jacobs is assistant professor in the Department of History at Boston College. He is the author of America's Miracle Man in Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race, and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia. In 2001, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations honored him with its Stuart Bernath Prize for the best article published in the field of diplomatic history.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: "The Kind of Asian We Can Live with": Diem Wins American Support
Chapter 2: "Let Our People Go!": The Geneva Accords and Passage to Freedom
Chapter 3: "This Fellow Is Impossible": The Collins Mission
Chapter 4: "Miracle Man": Diem's Regime in Myth and Reality
Chapter 5: "Truth Shall Burst Forth in Irresistible Waves of Hatred": Cracks in the Facade
Chapter 6: "A Scenario of Torture, Persecution, and Worse": The Diem Experiment in Decline
Chapter 7: "No Respectable Turning Back": Collapse of the Diem Experiment
Conclusion
Bibliographic Essay

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