Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975 (Modern by John Prados

By John Prados

Henry Adams Prize

The Vietnam conflict remains to be the focal point of severe controversy. whereas such a lot people—liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, historians, pundits, and voters alike—agree that the USA didn't win the struggle, a vocal minority argue the other or debate why victory by no means got here, attributing the quagmire to every little thing from family politics to the click. the army by no means misplaced a conflict, how then did it no longer win the warfare?

Stepping again from this overheated fray, bestselling writer John Prados takes a clean examine either the warfare and the debates approximately it to provide a much-needed and long-overdue reassessment of 1 of our nation's so much tragic episodes. Drawing upon numerous a long time of research-including lately declassified files, newly to be had presidential tapes, and a variety of Vietnamese and different overseas sources—Prados's magisterial account weaves jointly a number of views throughout an epic-sized canvas the place household politics, ideologies, international locations, and militaries all collide.

Prados patiently items again jointly the occasions and moments, from the tip of global struggle II until eventually our dispiriting departure from Vietnam in 1975, that exhibit a struggle that now seems to were actually unwinnable—due to possibilities misplaced, overlooked, missed, or refused. He exhibits how—from the Truman in the course of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations—American leaders continuously neglected or misunderstood the realities in Southeast Asia and handed up each chance to prevent struggle within the first position or stay away from changing into ever extra mired in it after it all started. Highlighting in particular Ike's seminal and long-lasting impact on our Vietnam coverage, Prados demonstrates how and why our diversity of selections narrowed with each one passing yr, whereas our decision-making persisted to be distorted through chilly warfare politics and basic misperceptions in regards to the tradition, psychology, ambitions, and skills of either our enemies and our allies in Vietnam.

By turns enticing narrative background, compelling analytic treatise, and relocating own account, Prados's magnum opus demanding situations earlier authors and may rightfully take its position because the so much entire, updated, and exact one-volume account of a warfare that—judging via the common analogies to the present struggle in Iraq—has now not but rather ended for any of us.

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