Hailed as a "pithy and compelling account of an intensely relevant topic" (Kirkus Reviews), this wide-ranging volume offers a superb account of a key moment in modern U.S. and world history. Drawing upon the latest research in archives in China, Russia, and Vietnam, Mark Lawrence creates an extraordinary, panoramic view of all sides of the war. His narrative begins well before American forces set foot in Vietnam, delving into French colonialism's contribution to the 1945 Vietnamese revolution, and revealing how the Cold War concerns of the 1950s led the United States to back the French.
The heart of the book covers the "American war", ranging from the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem and the impact of the Tet Offensive to Nixon's expansion of the war into Cambodia and Laos, and the final peace agreement of 1973. Finally, Lawrence examines the aftermath of the war, from the momentous liberalization - "Doi Moi" - in Vietnam to the enduring legacy of this infamous war in American books, films, and political debate.
©2010 Mark Atwood Lawrence (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Crisply concise.... Delves into the 'whys' of the war: why the Vietnamese fought against the United States, why the great powers were involved, why the war turned out as it did and why legacies of the war linger." (Dallas Morning News)
In spite of living during the Vietnam era, I never could put all the pieces into a coherent whole. This book really helps listeners to understand just how the war developed. Narrator is very good and makes it easy to listen.
This book I thought provided a valuable history of the Vietnam war from a different perspective from that normally found in other readings and as taught in classrooms.
I enjoyed, if that is the word, relearning how duplicitous the U.S. government was in perpetrating this tragedy.
Again, my favorite (a dubious adjective) character is LBJ. He simply could not allow principles to supersede what he thought to be political pragmatics. As it turned out, his path was the most complicated, most destructive, and least effective.
The poignant moment when the last helicopter left Saigon.
I am again saddened by the misery of this atrocious war. Even if the war did serve to check Communist expansion, I am not at all sure it was worth it. At best, the U.S. can claim it as a Pyrrhic victory, but one which lost the confidence of an entire generation of Americans.
In conjunction with Smoke Signals, these two books tell us a lot about why Boomer Hippies and Wannabes distrust American Politics.
For an otherwise brief overview, it was detailed enough to really make the narrative flow. Sadly though, the author clearly has a political axe to grind, and Nixon remains his villain, just as Kennedy his hero. His heroes do bad things reluctantly, whereas his villains do it malevolently. The same is true in reverse for good things. I still have yet to hear one in which this war can be discussed objectively. Sigh. Perhaps we are still too early write anything objective about this war? In any case, if you can get past his personal political commentary (or if your political orientation aligns with his), you will find this a very informative and fascinating story. One of the more enjoyable reads of the Vietnam War. Peter Berkot also gets high marks for his performance in reading the material.
Highly recommended. This books is thorough, well written, very well read. It provided the big picture as well as many interesting but obscure details.
I have read a lot on Vietnam, but nothing so comprehensive and, for the subject matter, so brief.
Berkrot is outstanding.
The very last chapter when he quotes from a novel by a Vietnamese author.
If you've been there, read this. It will possibly change your opinions about the cause and the execution of the way both positive and negative.
Yes. The historical facts appeared to be well-researched and were not trivial in significance. I would listen to it again simply to absorb the plethora of facts that I may have missed the first time.
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