Vietnam: Explaining America's Lost War / Edition 1

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In Vietnam, Gary R. Hess describes and evaluates the main arguments of scholars, participants, and journalists, both revisionist and orthodox in their approach, as they try to answer fundamental questions of the Vietnam War.

  • Clearly examines the historiography of the Vietnam War

  • Questions whether the Vietnam War was lost due to poor strategy and leadership, or was inherently doomed to failure

  • Includes a bibliographic essay which complements the literature discussed in the text
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

“Outstanding Academic Title 2008. Hess offers what is arguably the best sampling of new research and analysis on the Vietnam War now available in a single volume, providing an impressive, almost indispensable introduction to the big-picture debates and controversies. It should be on a very short list of the most useful books in helping making sense of an enormously complex and controversial conflict. Essential.” (Choice Reviews, October 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405125284
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/6/2008
  • Series: Contesting the Past Series, #5
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary R. Hess is Distinguished Research Professor of History at Bowling Green State University. He is a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and a former chair of the U.S. State Department’s Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation. His publications include Vietnam and the United States: Origins and Legacy of War 1941-1945 (1998) and Presidential Decisions for War: Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf (2001).
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 From the Streets to the Books: The Origins of an Enduring Debate 1

2 A Necessary War or a Mistaken War? 25

3 “Kennedy Exceptionalism” or “Missed Opportunity for Peace” or “Lost Victory?” – The Movement toward War, 1961-1965 50

4 The Revisionist Critique of the “Other War” – The Clausewitzian Alternative 84

5 The Revisionist Critique of the “Strategy for Defeat” – The Clausewitzian Alternative 84

6 The Media and the War: Shaping or Reflecting Public Opinion? 133

7 The Tet Offensive: A decisive American Victory or a Prolongation of Stalemate? 154

8 Nixon-Kissinger and the Ending of the War; A “Lost Victory” or “Neither Peace nor Honor?” 179

9 Conclusion 207

Bibliography 211

Index 214

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