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In one of the most detailed and powerfully argued books published on American intervention in Vietnam, Fredrik Logevall examines the last great unanswered question on the war: Could the tragedy have been averted? His answer: a resounding yes. Challenging the prevailing myth that the outbreak of large-scale fighting in 1965 was essentially unavoidable,Choosing Warargues that the Vietnam War was unnecessary, not merely in hindsight but in the context of its time. Why, then, did major war break out? Logevall shows it was partly because of the timidity of the key opponents of U. S. involvement, and partly because of the staunch opposition of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to early negotiations. His superlative account shows that U. S. officials chose war over disengagement despite deep doubts about the war's prospects and about Vietnam's importance to U. S. security and over the opposition of important voices in the Congress, in the press, and in the world community. They did so because of concerns about credibility--not so much America's or the Democratic party's credibility, but their own personal credibility. Based on six years of painstaking research, this book is the first to place American policy making on Vietnam in 1963-65 in its wider international context using multiarchival sources, many of them recently declassified. Here we see for the first time how the war played in the key world capitals--not merely in Washington, Saigon, and Hanoi, but also in Paris and London, in Tokyo and Ottawa, in Moscow and Beijing. Choosing War is a powerful and devastating account of fear, favor, and hypocrisy at the highest echelons of American government, a book that will change forever our understanding of the tragedy that was the Vietnam War.
The struggle for Vietnam occupies a central place in the history of the twentieth century. Fought over a period of three decades, the conflict drew in all the world's powers and saw two of them--first France, then the United States--attempt to subdue the revolutionary Vietnamese forces. For France, the defeat marked the effective end of her colonial empire, while for America the war left a gaping wound in the body politic that remains open to this day. How did it happen? Tapping into newly accessible diplomatic archives in several nations and making full use of the published literature, distinguished scholar Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two Western nations to lose their way in Vietnam. Embers of War opens in 1919 at the Versailles Peace Conference, where a young Ho Chi Minh tries to deliver a petition for Vietnamese independence to President Woodrow Wilson. It concludes in 1959, with a Viet Cong ambush on an outpost outside Saigon and the deaths of two American officers whose names would be the first to be carved into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In between come years of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation, as leaders on all sides embark on a series of stumbles that makes an eminently avoidable struggle a bloody and interminable reality. Logevall takes us inside the councils of war--and gives us a seat at the conference tables where peace talks founder. He brings to life the bloodiest battles of France's final years in Indochina--and shows how from an early point, a succession of American leaders made disastrous policy choices that put America on its own collision course with history: Harry Truman's fateful decision to reverse Franklin Delano Roosevelt's policy and acknowledge France's right to return to Indochina after World War II; Dwight Eisenhower's strenuous efforts to keep Paris in the fight and his escalation of U.S. involvement in the aftermath of the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; and the curious turnaround in Senator John F. Kennedy's thinking that would lead him as president to expand that commitment, despite his publicly stated misgivings about Western intervention in Southeast Asia. An epic story of wasted opportunities and tragic miscalculations, featuring an extraordinary cast of larger-than-life characters, Embers of War delves deep into the historical record to provide hard answers to the unanswered questions surrounding the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the arrival of another. This book will become the definitive chronicle of the struggle's origins for years to come.Advance praise for Embers of War "Fredrik Logevall has gleaned from American, French, and Vietnamese sources a splendid account of France's nine-year war in Indochina and the story of how the American statesmen of the period allowed this country to be drawn into the quagmire."--Neil Sheehan, author of A Bright Shining Lie, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award "Fredrik Logevall is a wonderful writer and historian. In his new book on the origins of the American war in Vietnam, he gives a fascinating and dramatic account of the French war and its aftermath, from the perspectives of the French, the Vietnamese, and the Americans. Using previously untapped sources and a deep knowledge of diplomatic history, Logevall shows to devastating effect how America found itself on the road to Vietnam."--Frances FitzGerald, author of Fire in the Lake, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award
A best selling narrative of stories behind people in United States. It makes the reader imagine and appreciate what life really was in the past.
This spirited narrative challenges students to think about the meaning of American history. Thoughtful inclusion of the lives of everyday people, cultural diversity, work, and popular culture preserves the text s basic approach to American history as a story of all the American people. The Seventh Edition maintains the emphasis on the unique social history of the United States and engages students through cutting-edge research and scholarship. New content includes expanded coverage of modern history (post-1945) with discussion of foreign relations, gender analysis, and race and racial relations. Chapter-based "Links to the World" connect US history to global events and provide web links for further research on topics such as international treaties and the AIDS epidemic. The end-of-chapter "Legacies for a People and a Nation" feature focuses on a meaningful event, movement, or fact covered in the chapter that bears a striking relevance to present-day issues or controversies. Revised and expanded, this feature includes coverage from civil rights to social security. Updated "Chronology Boxes" appear in every chapter to orient students to events and the dates of their occurrence.
A PEOPLE AND A NATION is a best-selling text offering a spirited narrative that tells the stories of all people in the United States. The authors' attention to race and racial identity and their inclusion of everyday people and popular culture brings history to life, engaging readers and encouraging them to imagine what life was really like in the past.
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