This expert scholarly analysis has been written as an aid to drawing conclusions from the Vietnam War. It is the story of how a small country, starting with a tiny cadre, has developed, according to Pike, the third largest armed force in the world (he counts not only standing army but a paramilitary force of some 2 million). Pike details the militaristic nature of Vietnamese society, describes the organization and functioning of the military forces, and places them in political context. There is little coverage of specific military events, with the emphasis given to Vietnamese strategic thinking. This is the only respectable book of its kind: judicious, clearly written, and current. For most academic and larger public libraries. Edward Gibson, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, Va.