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Defending the Free World : John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and the Vietnam War, 1961-1965

By: SCHWAB, ORRIN.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Santa Barbara : ABC-CLIO, 1998Description: 1 online resource (260 p.).ISBN: 9780313070044.Subject(s): Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 | Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 | United States -- Foreign relations -- 1961-1963 | United States -- Foreign relations -- 1963-1969 | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United StatesGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Defending the Free World : John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and the Vietnam War, 1961-1965DDC classification: 959 | 959.70431 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
CONTENTS; PREFACE; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; ABBREVIATIONS; 1 DEFENDING THE FREE WORLD: 1961; 2 THE COUP; 3 TOWARD THE GULF OF TONKIN; 4 PLEIKU; 5 TOWARD THE PRESS CONFERENCE SPEECH; SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX
Summary: Schwab examines America's decision to stand in Vietnam with a fresh perspective provided by new archival materials and the intellectual synthesis of institutional, political, and diplomatic history. Vietnam policy is shown at many different levels, from the presidency down to the level of CIA operatives in the field and public opinion specialists on the White House staff. The views of State Department officers, foreign public opinion, editorials in major U.S. newspapers, and the powerful leaders of both Congressional houses reveal an informed and highly conflicted public leadership well before
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CONTENTS; PREFACE; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; ABBREVIATIONS; 1 DEFENDING THE FREE WORLD: 1961; 2 THE COUP; 3 TOWARD THE GULF OF TONKIN; 4 PLEIKU; 5 TOWARD THE PRESS CONFERENCE SPEECH; SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX

Schwab examines America's decision to stand in Vietnam with a fresh perspective provided by new archival materials and the intellectual synthesis of institutional, political, and diplomatic history. Vietnam policy is shown at many different levels, from the presidency down to the level of CIA operatives in the field and public opinion specialists on the White House staff. The views of State Department officers, foreign public opinion, editorials in major U.S. newspapers, and the powerful leaders of both Congressional houses reveal an informed and highly conflicted public leadership well before

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In analyzing the decision-making process that prompted the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to intervene in Vietnam, Schwab covers ground that Larry Berman (Planning a Tragedy, CH, Oct'82), George C. Herring (LBJ and Vietnam, CH, Dec'94), and Michael H. Hunt (Lyndon Johnson's War, 1996), among others, have previously explored. The author states that his contribution to scholarship "is an historical understanding of the intervention as a systemic process of American internationalism." State Department officials offered the "Wilsonian" vision of reform, counterinsurgency, and the diplomatic process as an antidote to South Vietnam's maladies. Pentagon planners argued for "Clausewitzian" military strategies for achieving policy objectives. Kennedy and Johnson managed this bureaucratic conflict by employing the devices of the "technocratic" state for the control of groups, institutions, and social systems. The two presidents constantly weighed diplomatic, political, psychological, military, and economic considerations "in a continuous Socratic dialogue between executive agencies." Schwab suggests that Kennedy's assassination proved critical, because Kennedy, a "neo-Wilsonian," opposed the introduction of significant combat troops into Vietnam, whereas Johnson gave more power to the Pentagon. Schwab then qualifies his thesis by rejecting the "voluntarist emphasis" in the literature. Although scholars may admire Schwab's research, some may find his jargon difficult to decipher. Recommended for research libraries. S. G. Rabe; University of Texas at Dallas

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Orrin Schwab received his PhD in history from the University of Chicago in 1993. He studied with both Akira Iriye and Bruce Cumings. His current research interests involve the intellectual and institutional history of the Cold War. He teaches and lives in the Chicago metropolitan area.

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