In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam

Overview

The #1 national bestseller—an indispensable document for anyone interested in the Vietnam War. McNamara's controversial book tells the inside and personal story of America's descent into Vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written. This new edition features a new Foreword by McNamara. of photos. (Military History)

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Overview

The #1 national bestseller—an indispensable document for anyone interested in the Vietnam War. McNamara's controversial book tells the inside and personal story of America's descent into Vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written. This new edition features a new Foreword by McNamara. of photos. (Military History)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Former Secretary of Defense McNamara's controversial indictment of American policy in Vietnam was a PW bestseller for 12 weeks. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679767497
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Series: Vintage
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 191,965
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 1.16 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2008

    Lessons learned.

    A candid view of the Vietnam War from the vantage point of Robert McNamara, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. McNamara,along with others, were dubbed 'the best and the brightest', but failed miserably in their estimate of the situation in Vietnam and in the execution of the war. McNamara exposes the mistakes that were made. He concluded that 3 critical elements required for success were lacking within Vietnam: a stable economy, a stable government,and support of the war effort by the Vietnamese people. He finally realized the war effort was futile and departed the Johnson administration. Much may be learned from McNamara's personal observations and evaluation of the political and military aspects of the war. Hopefully, the 'lessons learned' from his experience may assist members of government from duplicating similar errors in the future. This book is well worth reading and lends credence to the cliche 'hindsight is always 20/20'!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2007

    A Recollection To America

    A wonderful and introspective journey from one of our most arrogant officials in recent history. McNamara edges toward a fully vilification of his own policies and he decides to be candid. The constant micromanaging, which even he admits to instead of micromanaging, of his tenure in the State Department did not help as he relates. He also weighs in that the tenuous relationship of the Soviet Union and China was not examined nor was the fighting ability of the North.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    You must read this!

    This book is integral to understanding our nation, Vietnam and the politics which transpired and/or never considered from both sides of the war. It is a must read for any understanding of that era and conflict.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2003

    Exciting and Captivating

    I am a studying biomedical engineering and when I started this book I had been looking for a good political book that would educate me in something other than science. I remember having heard of this book while in my AP American History class in high school. The truth is that even though we all know how the Vietnam War ended, reading McNamara's portrayal of how it escalated was just captivating. I felt as if I was in the oval office with LBJ and his advisors listening in on their top secret meetings. I stayed up late many nights just reading it. I truly admire McNamara's candor and how he whole-heartedly acknowledges the mistakes that he and his fellow politicians made during the Vietnam War. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2001

    Now THAT's History!

    Here we have it from someone who was at the very center of the action, who is reflective and at times profound, and who can write. Often that's a formula for defensive apologias, but McNamara does historians -- and today's citizens -- a great service by recalling how good, smart people can come up with the very worst policies -- especially when they fall prey to false and unexamined premises. Every American should read this book -- especially today's policymakers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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