ISBN-10:
0674006720
ISBN-13:
9780674006720
Pub. Date:
01/30/2002
Publisher:
Harvard
American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War

American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War

by David Kaiser
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674006720
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 01/30/2002
Series: Belknap Press Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 5.68(w) x 8.87(h) x (d)

About the Author

David Kaiser is an independent scholar.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The Eisenhower Administration and Indochina: 1954-1960

2. No War in Laos: January-June 1961

3. A New Effort in Vietnam: January-August 1961

4. War or Peace? September-November 1961

5. Limiting the Commitment: November 1961-November 1962

6. The War in Vietnam: 1962

7. A Gathering Storm: January-July 1963

8. The Buddhist Crisis and the Cable of August 24: 1963

9. The Coup: August-November 1963

10. A Decision for War: November 1963-April 1964

11. To the Tonkin Gulf: April-August 1964

12. Planning for War: September-December 1964

13. Over the Edge: December 1964-March 1965

14. War in Secret: March-June 1965

15. War in Public: June-July 1965

16. Bad History, Wrong War

Epilogue: Tragedy and History

Dedication

Abbreviations

Notes

Acknowledgments

Illustration Credits

Index

What People are Saying About This

David Kaiser's book on the origins of the American tragedy in Vietnam is now the finest study on this much discussed subject. Kaiser's prodigious research and keen analysis gives us persuasive answers to the many questions journalists and historians have been asking for years about the roots of our involvement in the conflict. Kaiser's book will stand as the principal work on this compelling subject for years to come. Every one interested in the recent history of the United States will want to read this book.

Douglas Brinkley

American Tragedy is a splendid reinterpretation of U. S. Involvement in Vietnam. David Kaiser has unearthed fascinating new archival material which helps us better understand why this remote Asian peninsula was such a contested Cold War prize. You cannot properly comprehend the Vietnam War without reading this first-rate book.
Douglas Brinkley, Director of the Eisenhower Center, University of New Orleans

Robert Dallek

David Kaiser's book on the origins of the American tragedy in Vietnam is now the finest study on this much discussed subject. Kaiser's prodigious research and keen analysis gives us persuasive answers to the many questions journalists and historians have been asking for years about the roots of our involvement in the conflict. Kaiser's book will stand as the principal work on this compelling subject for years to come. Every one interested in the recent history of the United States will want to read this book.
Robert Dallek, author of Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times

Arthur Schlesinger

American Tragedy is a superb analysis of the debate within the United States government thirty-five years ago over what we should do about South Vietnam. David Kaiser shows in impressive and meticulous detail how we stumbled into an unnecessary war.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

John Kenneth Galbraith

With newly declassified cables and high-level memoranda and policy instructions, good supporting research and clear prose, David Kaiser has written a very important book on Vietnam and the movement to disaster. Not before has there been such a compelling account of the pressures to which Presidents Kennedy and Johnson were subject from the military and its civilian acolytes, whose terrifying irresponsibility extended on to the proposed use of nuclear weapons. To repeat: a most important book, still relevant as to warriors advising on war.

Alan Brinkley

In the vast literature on American intervention in Vietnam, David Kaiser has added an indispensable and revelatory new book. Based on exhaustive research and profound scholarly insight, Kaiser makes clear that the nation's tragic involvement in Vietnam was neither arbitrary nor inevitable. No other study presents a fuller or more persuasive picture of this critical moment in our nation's history.
Alan Brinkley, author of Liberalism and Its Discontents (Harvard)

Ernest R. May

David Kaiser has written a remarkably thorough, detached, yet sensitive book about the U.S. war in Vietnam. His previous scholarship has ranted over the whole history of modern warfare, and he sets the Vietnam War in that context.
Ernest R. May, co-author of The Kennedy Tapes (Harvard)

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