Regular price: $41.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War. In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908-1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene's The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a "hearts and mind" diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America's giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people.

Through dozens of interviews and access to never before-seen documents - including long-hidden love letters - Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish "T. E. Lawrence of Asia" from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975.

Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called "ugly American", this "engrossing biography" (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.

©2018 Max Boot (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    96
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An honest look at Vietnam Nam and USA

Well researched and presented without a political agenda. Boot has given the reader/listener a ringside view of US decision making in the post WWII era through the end of the century. As a young observer in Saigon 1965-67, this demonstrates the highest degree of veracity I have found.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • texan
  • Austin, TX United States
  • 03-05-18

Wayyy too long.

I can’t believe I finished this book. I almost “returned” it a dozen times.
A good editor for this story of a very interesting time and individual desperately needed. The author went off on a number of unneeded tangents ( LBJ, Humbert Humphrey , etc). The narrator was excellent, but the story may put you to sleep.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, awesome author, terrible pronunciation

What made the experience of listening to The Road Not Taken the most enjoyable?

The story is very interesting and really holds your attention.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Road Not Taken?

The eye-opening facts

What didn’t you like about Henry Strozier’s performance?

Wow - talk about bad pronunciations just terrible

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

all of it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow start. The rest is an amazing tale.

First 5 chapters read like a geneology or actuary table, but once under way in earnest, we begin to get a sympathetic portrayal of an amazing man who is still teaching us today and who we are still ignoring. He was not a perfect man but his sincerity is undeniable and his goodness skewed and magnified by the -now- obvious rightness of his ideas.

What I really enjoyed was that at least 6 hours of the book surprisingly dealt with the Philippines and not only Vietnam and I was very interested in learning the history I thought I knew from letting it pass through the story of this one man and along the way, picking up mini biographies on countless names, known and lesser known, who have created the world we live in.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

piecing it together<br />

Narrator is superb. I was looking for the complete story of why we sacrificed so many lives in a lost cause. this explains it clearly.
Lansdale is now my forgotten hero.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Apparently morality meant nothing to either the subject of the author.

The author, like so many military biographers, fell in love with his subject and delivers up a revisionist wet dream of a love poem to him. A despicable subject poorly rendered, a waste of time and money.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent and detailed work

An excellent and detailed look at the run up to the start of the Vietnam war and it's under workings. This was a great tour of the personalities and processes that were in play.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A truly great statesman

Win the people and you’ll win the war is a tenant that seems to have escaped our political establishment and military brass. Lansdale’s words are timeless.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Light on historical details

As a reader of 100s of books about the Vietnam War, I felt this work could have been denser with more historical details. For a more personal story, it was fine. I was expecting something else in view of the gravitas given to this author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Learn, Like, Listen. what could go wrong?

Definitely not a simple story with a simple lesson. A simple read in today's culture could be counterproductive.