Indochina and Vietnam: The Thirty-five Year War, 1940-1975

Overview

The Indochina and Vietnam Wars followed one another over thirty-five years, from 1940 to 1975, yet these two closely related conflicts are usually treated separately. This book seeks to tell the story of those wars as a single historical event. Within days of France's defeat by Nazi Germany and Japan's military expansion into Southeast Asia in July 1940, the United States became involved in Indochina. Most histories quickly mention the colonial past, usually limited to the battle of Dien Bien Phu, to concentrate ...

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Indochina and Vietnam: The Thirty-five Year War, 1940-1975

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Overview

The Indochina and Vietnam Wars followed one another over thirty-five years, from 1940 to 1975, yet these two closely related conflicts are usually treated separately. This book seeks to tell the story of those wars as a single historical event. Within days of France's defeat by Nazi Germany and Japan's military expansion into Southeast Asia in July 1940, the United States became involved in Indochina. Most histories quickly mention the colonial past, usually limited to the battle of Dien Bien Phu, to concentrate exclusively on the American war. A selection of published sources explains the context and the development of the long war while providing an overview of France's imprint on Indochina and Vietnam.

The question "Why were we in Vietnam?" comes up regularly regarding the root causes for the ultimate deployment of over five hundred thousand US troops, most of them conscripts, into a virtually unknown land. When France left Indochina in 1954 it became an American problem. Weeks before the murder of John F. Kennedy came the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem and the escalation of the war in 1965–68. Finally, Richard Nixon, after extending the war into Cambodia, enacted both the Vietnamization process and negotiations in Paris between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, until the final act in April 1975, when the US embassy rooftop with the last helicopter taking off was flashed around the world as the grand finale to the war.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
10/01/2013
While American involvement in the Vietnam Conflict greatly expanded after U.S. Marines landed in Danang in 1965, the war did not begin then. Miller (coauthor, Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations) and Wainstock (history, Fairmont State Univ.; Election Year 1968: The Turning Point) explain that the origins of this war, and America's involvement in it, are much earlier. Their book provides a succinct overview of Vietnamese history, starting from the earliest days of French colonization in Indochina up to the fall of Saigon. Unlike other works that treat the Indochina and Vietnam Wars as two separate events, this work takes the view that these conflicts were in fact components of one larger war. The authors clearly illustrate the overlapping connections between these wars. VERDICT This volume is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in learning about the Vietnam War. It's especially strong in its coverage of French and American motivations. While experts are unlikely to find any new revelations, novices will appreciate the comprehensive, concise, and lucid treatment of a complex topic. For a more detailed investigation, see Stanley Karnow's Vietnam: A History.—Joshua Wallace, South Texas Coll. Lib., McAllen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936274659
  • Publisher: Enigma Books
  • Publication date: 11/19/2013
  • Pages: 275
  • Sales rank: 961,735
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert L. Miller, editor and publisher, author of the Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage lives in New York City.

Dennis Wainstock, author of The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb, professor of history, lives in Salem, West Virginia.

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