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More than a quarter of a century after the last Marine Corps Huey left the American embassy in Saigon, the lessons and legacies of the most divisive war in twentieth-century American history are as hotly debated as ever. Why did successive administrations choose little-known Vietnam as the "test case" of American commitment in the fight against communism? Why were the "best and brightest" apparently blind to the illegitimacy of the state of South Vietnam? Would Kennedy have pulled out had he lived? And what lessons regarding American foreign policy emerged from the war?
The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War helps readers understand this tragic and complex conflict. The book contains both interpretive information and a wealth of facts in easy-to-find form. Part I provides a lucid narrative overview of contested issues and interpretations in Vietnam scholarship. Part II is a mini-encyclopedia with descriptions and analysis of individuals, events, groups, and military operations. Arranged alphabetically, this section enables readers to look up isolated facts and specialized terms. Part III is a chronology of key events. Part IV is an annotated guide to resources, including films, documentaries, CD-ROMs, and reliable Web sites. Part V contains excerpts from historical documents and statistical data.
Columbia University Press
Successfully compresses the copiously documented, labyrinthine history of the Vietnamese conflict into a single economical volume... a fascinating survey of the war... expertly crafted... strongly recommended.
— Mark Bradley
— Matthew Stewart
— Andrew L. Johns
Part I: Historical Narrative 1. Studying the Vietnam War2. Vietnam: Historical BackgroundRoots of the Vietnamese Culture and StateThe Impact of French ColonialismThe Rise of Vietnamese NationalismThe Origins of Vietnamese Communism3. United States: Historical BackgroundIdealism and Realism in U.S. Foreign RelationsThe United States and the Open Door in AsiaThe World Wars: The Legacies of Wilson and MunichThe Origins of the Cold War4. The French War in VietnamThe August RevolutionOutbreak of the Franco-Vietminh WarU.S. Support of FranceDienbienphu and the Geneva Conference5. The Diem Years: EisenhowerThe Decision to Back Ngo Dinh DiemThe Non-election of 1956The Illusion of Nation BuildingNLF: Rise of the Southern Insurgency6. The Diem Years: KennedyCounterinsurgency WarfareThe Buddhist CrisisThe Diem AssassinationWhat if Kennedy Had Lived? 7. The American War in Vietnam: EscalationThe Gulf of Tonkin IncidentRolling ThunderJohnson Decides on a Land War in AsiaTheories of Causation8. The American War in Vietnam: StrategyThe DrafAttrition Strategy and Body CountHumpin' It: The American SoldierThe Air WarDiplomacyThe Resilient Enemy9. The American War in Vietnam: The Limits of PowerThe Tet offensiveThe Antiwar Movement and the MediaJohnson's Decision to Stop EscalationThe Presidential Election of 196810. The American War in Vietnam: De-escalationVietnamization and More BombingCambodia and Kent StateNegotiations and the Paris Peace AccordsDRV Victory in 197511. The War What Will Not Go AwayThe Postwar Wars in Southeast AsiaAmerican Vietnam VeteransFilms, Fiction, and PoetryPostmortemsPart II: The Vietnam War from A to Z Part III: Chronology Part IV: Resource Guide
Columbia University Press