VietnamExplaining America's Lost War
Contesting the Past 2. Aufl.
Now available in a completely revised and updated second edition, Vietnam: Explaining America’s Lost War is an award-winning historiography of one of the 20th century’s seminal conflicts. Looks at many facets of Vietnam War, examining central arguments of scholars, journalists, and participants and providing evidence on both sides of controversies around this event Addresses key debates about the Vietnam War, asking whether the war was necessary for US security; whether President Kennedy would have avoided the war had he lived beyond November 1963; whether negotiation would have been a feasible alternative to war; and more Assesses the lessons learned from this war, and how these lessons have affected American national security policy since Written by a well-respected scholar in the field in an accessible style for students and scholars
Preface viii 1 From the Streets to the Books: The Origins of an Enduring Debate 1 2 A Necessary War or a Mistaken War? 23 3 “Kennedy Exceptionalism,” “Missed Opportunity for Peace,” or “Lost Victory?”: The Movement toward War, 1961–1965 49 4 The Revisionist Critique of the “Strategy for Defeat”: The Clausewitzian Alternative 84 5 The Revisionist Critique of the “Other War”: The “Hearts?]and?]Minds” Prescription for Victory 111 6 The Media and the War: Irresponsible or Balanced Journalism? 133 7 The Tet Offensive: Decisive American Victory or Devastating Loss? 155 8 Nixon–Kissinger and the Ending of the War: A “Lost Victory” or “Neither Peace nor Honor?” 179 9 Conclusion: The War’s “Lessons” 209 Bibliography 218 Index 221
Gary R. Hess is Distinguished Research Professor of History at Bowling Green State University, where he taught for forty-five years. His publications include The United States at War, 1941–1945 (Wiley, 3rd edition, 2010), Presidential Decisions for War: Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq (rev. ed., 2009), Vietnam and the United States: Origins and Legacy of War 1941–1945 (1998), and The United States’ Emergence as a Southeast Asian Power (1987).
The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Americanization of the Vietnam War, a subject that has sparked intense and enduring debate. Now available in a revised and updated second edition, Vietnam: Explaining America’s Lost War is an award-winning historiography of this seminal conflict of the 20th century. This textbook brings together description and analysis of the most important issues in the field as put forth by scholars, participants, and journalists over the last half century. It addresses key questions about the war. Written by a well-respected scholar who has spent decades studying the consequences of the Vietnam War, this text presents the issues in a clear and compelling style that encourages straightforward understanding of complex issues and allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the reasons for America’s failure in the war. A final chapter assesses the competing “lessons” of the war as drawn from orthodox and revisionist histories and the extent to which they have influenced American national security policy over the last forty years.
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