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Vietnam : Explaining America's Lost War

By: Hess, Gary R.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Contesting the Past: Publisher: New York : Wiley, 2015Edition: 2nd ed.Description: 1 online resource (215 p.).ISBN: 9781118949016.Subject(s): National security -- United States | United States -- Military policy | United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989 | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Influence | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United StatesGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Vietnam : Explaining America's Lost WarDDC classification: 959.704/3 LOC classification: DS558 .H47 2015Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Title Page -- Copyright Page -- Contents -- Preface -- Chapter 1 From the Streets to the Books: The Origins of an Enduring Debate -- Debating the War, 1965-1968: The Power-Morality Issue -- The Battle of the Books: Doves and Hawks -- Revisionism: The "Noble Cause" and "If-Only" History -- The Orthodox School: A "Mistaken Commitment" and an "Unwinnable War" -- Approaching the Problem: Seven Key Issues -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 2 A Necessary War or a Mistaken War? -- Origins of Commitment: Regional and Global Contexts -- The Revisionist Case for the "Necessary War"
The Orthodox Case for the "Mistaken War" -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 3 "Kennedy Exceptionalism," "Missed Opportunity for Peace," or "Lost Victory?": The Movement toward War, 1961-1965 -- The Orthodox Narrative -- The "Quagmire" Interpretation: Leaders Caught in Tragedy -- "Kennedy Exceptionalism": Disengagement as An Alternative to War? -- The Critique of "Kennedy Exceptionalism": JFK as the Cold Warrior -- Johnson and Negotiations: A Viable Alternative to War? -- Johnson as an Ineffective Leader -- The Revisionist Argument: The First "Lost Victory"
Assessments of Diem's Leadership and North Vietnam's Belligerency -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 4 The Revisionist Critique of the "Strategy for Defeat": The Clausewitzian Alternative -- Westmoreland: The "General Who Lost The War" or "Good General, Bad War?" -- The Ground War in South Vietnam: The Limits of Search-and-Destroy -- The Air War against North Vietnam: The Limits of Rolling Thunder -- The Revisionist Position: The Strategy for Victory -- The Response to Revisionism: Ill-Founded and Risky "If-Only" History -- Summary -- Notes
Chapter 5 The Revisionist Critique of the "Other War": The "Hearts-and-Minds" Prescription for Victory -- Wartime Proponents of the "Other War" -- The Arguments for the Hearts-and-Minds Strategy -- Critique of Hearts-and-Minds: The Limits of American Influence -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 6 The Media and the War: Irresponsible or Balanced Journalism? -- Wartime Leaders' Criticism of the Media -- The Revisionist Denunciation of Irresponsible Journalism -- The Response: Supportive and Balanced Reporting -- Summary -- Notes
Chapter 7 The Tet Offensive: Decisive American Victory or Devastating Loss? -- Revisionism: The Failure to Exploit a Military Advantage -- Orthodoxy: A Crippling Loss -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 8 Nixon-Kissinger and the Ending of the War: A "Lost Victory" or "Neither Peace nor Honor?" -- Nixon, Kissinger, and the Origins of Revisionism -- The Revisionist Case for the "Lost Victory" -- The Orthodox "Neither Peace nor Honor" Interpretation -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 9 Conclusion: The War's "Lessons" -- The Weinberger- Powell Doctrine -- Petraeus and Counter-Insurgency Doctrine
Historians and the War's Lessons
Summary: 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 19
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DS558 .H47 2015 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=2008060 Available EBL2008060

Title Page -- Copyright Page -- Contents -- Preface -- Chapter 1 From the Streets to the Books: The Origins of an Enduring Debate -- Debating the War, 1965-1968: The Power-Morality Issue -- The Battle of the Books: Doves and Hawks -- Revisionism: The "Noble Cause" and "If-Only" History -- The Orthodox School: A "Mistaken Commitment" and an "Unwinnable War" -- Approaching the Problem: Seven Key Issues -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 2 A Necessary War or a Mistaken War? -- Origins of Commitment: Regional and Global Contexts -- The Revisionist Case for the "Necessary War"

The Orthodox Case for the "Mistaken War" -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 3 "Kennedy Exceptionalism," "Missed Opportunity for Peace," or "Lost Victory?": The Movement toward War, 1961-1965 -- The Orthodox Narrative -- The "Quagmire" Interpretation: Leaders Caught in Tragedy -- "Kennedy Exceptionalism": Disengagement as An Alternative to War? -- The Critique of "Kennedy Exceptionalism": JFK as the Cold Warrior -- Johnson and Negotiations: A Viable Alternative to War? -- Johnson as an Ineffective Leader -- The Revisionist Argument: The First "Lost Victory"

Assessments of Diem's Leadership and North Vietnam's Belligerency -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 4 The Revisionist Critique of the "Strategy for Defeat": The Clausewitzian Alternative -- Westmoreland: The "General Who Lost The War" or "Good General, Bad War?" -- The Ground War in South Vietnam: The Limits of Search-and-Destroy -- The Air War against North Vietnam: The Limits of Rolling Thunder -- The Revisionist Position: The Strategy for Victory -- The Response to Revisionism: Ill-Founded and Risky "If-Only" History -- Summary -- Notes

Chapter 5 The Revisionist Critique of the "Other War": The "Hearts-and-Minds" Prescription for Victory -- Wartime Proponents of the "Other War" -- The Arguments for the Hearts-and-Minds Strategy -- Critique of Hearts-and-Minds: The Limits of American Influence -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 6 The Media and the War: Irresponsible or Balanced Journalism? -- Wartime Leaders' Criticism of the Media -- The Revisionist Denunciation of Irresponsible Journalism -- The Response: Supportive and Balanced Reporting -- Summary -- Notes

Chapter 7 The Tet Offensive: Decisive American Victory or Devastating Loss? -- Revisionism: The Failure to Exploit a Military Advantage -- Orthodoxy: A Crippling Loss -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 8 Nixon-Kissinger and the Ending of the War: A "Lost Victory" or "Neither Peace nor Honor?" -- Nixon, Kissinger, and the Origins of Revisionism -- The Revisionist Case for the "Lost Victory" -- The Orthodox "Neither Peace nor Honor" Interpretation -- Summary -- Notes -- Chapter 9 Conclusion: The War's "Lessons" -- The Weinberger- Powell Doctrine -- Petraeus and Counter-Insurgency Doctrine

Historians and the War's Lessons

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 19

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Both the quantity and quality of research and scholarship on the US war in Vietnam continue at a remarkably high level. With a newly resurgent "revisionist" defense of the war challenging the dominant critical and antiwar approaches of the majority of historians, the Vietnam War has emerged as one of the major topics of contemporary historical analysis. Aside from a shared interest in historiographical trends and developments, however, Vietnam and Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars have substantially different foci. Hess examines the mainstream arguments and issues, opening with a broad overview of the main contending positions--the predominant "mistake" or "quagmire" view and the revisionist "necessary" or "noble" war counter-argument. He follows with a discussion of six crucial areas of disagreement (e.g., the initial decision to go to war, the Tet Offensive, the Nixon/Kissinger peace agreement). Brief conclusions for each chapter mostly find that antirevisionist historians have the stronger evidence and arguments. While covering some of the same ground, many of the 11 articles in Making Sense present wide-ranging examples of new and less conventional approaches to examining the war, with a particular focus on Vietnamese and international perspectives. Highlights include the French war, the contrast in US policy toward Laos and Vietnam, recent research on the Vietnamese communist opposition movement, the social history of South Vietnam's villages and villagers during the war, and recently opened international archival material. These are both important books. Hess offers what is arguably the best sampling of new research and analysis on the Vietnam War now available in a single volume, providing an impressive, almost indispensable introduction to the big-picture debates and controversies. It should be on a very short list of the most useful books in helping making sense of an enormously complex and controversial conflict. Summing Up: Vietnam, essential; Making Sense, highly recommended. Both books, all levels/libraries. K. Blaser Wayne State College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

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).

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