The Second Indochina War: A Concise Political and Military History / Edition 2

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Overview

Now in a thoroughly revised edition, this influential book offers a concise history of the "Vietnam War" as seen by all sides, not just from the American perspective. Retaining its invaluable account of the strategies, perspectives, and internal politics of the Vietnamese Communists based on research in primary documents and interviews in Saigon and Hanoi, this completely updated and expanded edition incorporates the avalanche of documentation and secondary literature in both English and Vietnamese that has appeared over the past two decades. Distinguished scholar William S. Turley traces the conflict from its origins in the colonial period to its aftermath and shows how the local, national, regional, and global layers of conflict blended into a single event of great complexity. He takes a refreshingly objective look at contentious issues and concludes with a penetrating assessment of the claims, justifications, and "lessons" that scholars, statesmen, and strategists have advanced since the war's end.

More information is available on the author's website.

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Editorial Reviews

Pacific Affairs - Edwin E. Moise
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
An admirable success, a book that everyone, from undergraduates to specialists in the field, can read with profit.... The book appears to be bias free. The writing and organization are very clear.... This reviewer has every intention of using the paperback edition as an undergraduate text, and encourages others to do likewise.
History - Ralph Smith
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
Teachers of world history in the twentieth century have long been asking for a one-volume study of the 'Vietnam War' which will offer students a succinct account of the main events, trends, and historical—as opposed to moral—issues of the war. The task is an impossible one. But Professor Turley has made the best attempt so far.... The author has done an excellent job in tracing the main outlines of the conflict and drawing attention to the more important themes and interpretations—thus providing a good introduction to an extremely complex subject.
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences - Steve Hoadley
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
Turley's conclusion on the lessons of the war, and their price, is at once obvious and thought provoking.... The book's succinct narrative, footnotes, maps, chronology and bibliographic essay make it a reliable and useful history and an admirable summary of a complex event.
Journal of American History - Vincent H. Demma
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
This book is a cogent reminder that the Vietnam War was not an 'American drama' only. As one of a small cadre of scholars explicating the conflict's 'Vietnamese dimensions,' William S. Turley draws on his considerable knowledge of Vietnamese communism and military affairs, as well as on an increasing number of important histories and of personal narratives published in Hanoi, to illuminate the indigenous aspects of the war.
Political Studies Review - Anthony Short
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
This is one of the most useful of the recent accounts that have appeared of the Vietnam War. Relying, like a catamaran, on the outriggers of Laos and Cambodia to give it balance, it sails smoothly and competently through the war as essentially a Vietnamese experience and, without strident commitment, offers a valuable perspective on the war in terms of revolutionary forces.
Joe P. Dunn
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
The Second Indochina War is a remarkable little book. Turley, a leading expert on Vietnamese communism, combines original research, thorough knowledge of the literature, his own insight from several trips to Vietnam during and since the war, and sound interpretation into an amazingly succinct and well-crafted 200-page narrative which provides balanced treatment of both Vietnamese and American sides of the war. Useful maps, charts, tables, a fine chronology, and an excellent brief bibliographic essay complement the volume.
Brantly Womack
Turley is a leading scholar on Vietnamese politics, and he has updated his classic account of the Second Indochina War to reflect not only the latest scholarship and memoirs but also the perspective gained from more than thirty years of peace. There is never a 'last word' on a complex event, but for scholars, veterans, and anyone else who wants to understand the war in its context, this excellent and judicious book is the place to start. I look forward to using it in class.
David G. Marr
By viewing events almost as closely from Hanoi and Saigon as from Washington, Professor Turley spares us the rampant self-absorption so characteristic of most American accounts of the war. For younger generations wondering 'Why Vietnam?' this book is the best place to start seeking answers.
David Hunt
This new edition, buttressed by twenty years of new scholarship, is even more satisfying than the original impressive book. The author's lucid prose and keen analytic bent give the work a distinctive tone and penetration, and his mastery of Vietnamese-language material allows for a balance and depth not found in other surveys.
Jeffrey Race
Mandatory reading for everyone concerned with any of the Indochina states. Turley elegantly and vividly provides a comprehensive overview of the war, perceptive analysis of calculations at the top in Hanoi and Washington leading to the war's end, and compelling details of the prolonged and complex disputes within the Vietnamese communist leadership and followers and among Vietnamese, Chinese, Lao, and Cambodian actors.
Journal Of American History
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION This book is a cogent reminder that the Vietnam War was not an 'American drama' only. As one of a small cadre of scholars explicating the conflict's 'Vietnamese dimensions,' William S. Turley draws on his considerable knowledge of Vietnamese communism and military affairs, as well as on an increasing number of important histories and of personal narratives published in Hanoi, to illuminate the indigenous aspects of the war.
— Vincent H. Demma
Pacific Affairs
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION An admirable success, a book that everyone, from undergraduates to specialists in the field, can read with profit.... The book appears to be bias free. The writing and organization are very clear.... This reviewer has every intention of using the paperback edition as an undergraduate text, and encourages others to do likewise.
— Edwin E. Moise
History
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION Teachers of world history in the twentieth century have long been asking for a one-volume study of the 'Vietnam War' which will offer students a succinct account of the main events, trends, and historical—as opposed to moral—issues of the war. The task is an impossible one. But Professor Turley has made the best attempt so far.... The author has done an excellent job in tracing the main outlines of the conflict and drawing attention to the more important themes and interpretations—thus providing a good introduction to an extremely complex subject.
— Ralph Smith
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION Turley's conclusion on the lessons of the war, and their price, is at once obvious and thought provoking.... The book's succinct narrative, footnotes, maps, chronology and bibliographic essay make it a reliable and useful history and an admirable summary of a complex event.
— Steve Hoadley
Journal of American History
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION This book is a cogent reminder that the Vietnam War was not an 'American drama' only. As one of a small cadre of scholars explicating the conflict's 'Vietnamese dimensions,' William S. Turley draws on his considerable knowledge of Vietnamese communism and military affairs, as well as on an increasing number of important histories and of personal narratives published in Hanoi, to illuminate the indigenous aspects of the war.
— Vincent H. Demma
Political Studies
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION This is one of the most useful of the recent accounts that have appeared of the Vietnam War. Relying, like a catamaran, on the outriggers of Laos and Cambodia to give it balance, it sails smoothly and competently through the war as essentially a Vietnamese experience and, without strident commitment, offers a valuable perspective on the war in terms of revolutionary forces.
— Anthony Short
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742555266
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

William S. Turley is professor emeritus of political science at Southern Illinois University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Legacies of Time
Chapter 2: Between Two Wars
Chapter 3: Fateful Decisions
Chapter 4: Americanization
Chapter 5: Air War
Chapter 6: Tet
Chapter 7: The Road to Paris
Chapter 8: After the Americans
Chapter 9: Of Lessons and Their Price
Appendix A: Annual Troop Movement from North to South and Casualties en Route, May 1959 to April 1975—Group 559 and American Estimates
Appendix B: Revolutionary Armed Forces and Population in the B2 Theater
Further Reading

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