The War That Never Ends: New Perspectives on the Vietnam War

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Overview

More than three decades after the final withdrawal of American troops from Southeast Asia, the legacy of the Vietnam War continues to influence political, military, and cultural discourse. Journalists, politicians, scholars, pundits, and others have used the conflict to analyze each of America's subsequent military engagements. Many Americans have observed that Vietnam-era terms such as "cut and run," "quagmire," and "hearts and minds" are ubiquitous once again as comparisons between U.S. involvement in Iraq and in Vietnam seem increasingly appropriate. Because of its persistent significance, the Vietnam War era continues to inspire vibrant historical inquiry.

The eminent scholars featured in The War That Never Ends offer fresh and insightful perspectives on the continuing relevance of the Vietnam War, from the homefront to "humping in the boonies," and from the great halls of political authority to the gritty hotbeds of oppositional activism. The contributors assert that the Vietnam War is central to understanding the politics of the Cold War, the social movements of the late twentieth century, the lasting effects of colonialism, the current direction of American foreign policy, and the ongoing economic development in Southeast Asia.

The seventeen essays break new ground on questions relating to gender, religion, ideology, strategy, and public opinion, and the book gives equal emphasis to Vietnamese and American perspectives on the grueling conflict. The contributors examine such phenomena as the role of women in revolutionary organizations, the peace movements inspired by Buddhism, and Ho Chi Minh's successful adaptation of Marxism to local cultures. The War That Never Ends explores both the antiwar movement and the experiences of infantrymen on the front lines of battle, as well as the media's controversial coverage of America's involvement in the war. The War That Never Ends sheds new light on the evolving historical meanings of the Vietnam War, its enduring influence, and its potential to influence future political and military decision-making, in times of peace as well as war.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A terrific volume. Anderson and Ernst have assembled a stellar cast of contributors to provide fresh perspectives. The result is a stimulating and authoritative set of essays." -- Fredrik Logevall, coauthor of The First Vietman War: Colonial Conflict and Cold

"This collection does an excellent job posing and answering the question of why Vietnam still matters and why it will remain the 'war that never ends." -- Kathryn C. Statler, author of Replacing France: The Origins of American Intervention in Vietnam

"What a valuable collection of essays! There is something new to think about in each one. Leading historians approach Vietnam from all angles, with each essay standing independent, yet part of the grand mosaic." -- Lloyd Gardner, coauthor of Iraq and Lessons of Vietnam

"Brings together a distinguished array of scholars who add immeasurably to our understanding of the longest and most complex war in American history." -- Melvin Small, author of Antiwarriors: The Vietnam War and the Battle for America

"Nicely structured, well written, and based on judicious research.... A number of essays add significantly to the literature on the Vietnam War." -- Journal of Military History

"Writings that offer both American and Vietnamese perspectives on the conflict, as well as explore the American antiwar movement and the war's legacy for U.S. foreign policy and military dissent." -- Chronicle of Higher Education

"While many anthologies have a handful of interested articles and a lot of filler, all of the essays in this work are worthwhile. I think a book on the lessons of the Vietnam War every so often is a good idea, especially one I can recommend like this one." -- Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813124735
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 369
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David L. Anderson is professor of history in the Division of Social, Behavioral, and Global Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay, and past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. His publications include The Vietnam War and Shadow on the White House.

John Ernst is professor of history at Morehead State University and the author of Forging a Fateful Alliance.

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