Vietnam War : A Study in the Making of American PolicyMaterial type: TextSeries: eBooks on DemandPublisher: Lexington : The University Press of Kentucky, 2015Description: 1 online resource (209 p.)ISBN: 9780813164717Subject(s): United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989 | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United StatesGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Vietnam War : A Study in the Making of American PolicyDDC classification: 959.704/3 LOC classification: DS558 -- .S85 1985Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Cover; Title; Copyright ; Contents; Acknowledgments; 1 Vietnam: Competing Perspectives; 2 Vietnam as Vital: Myth or Reality?; 3 Decision-Making Models: Rational Policy or Quagmire?; 4 Moods and Public Opinion: Background for Decisions; 5 The Vietnam War, the Cold War, and Long-Term Trends; 6 The Lessons of Vietnam; References; Index; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; R; S; T; U; V; W; Z
The war in Vietnam achieved almost none of the goals the American decision-makers formulated, and it cost more than 56,000 American lives. Yet, until recently, Americans have preferred to ignore the causes and consequences of this disaster by treating the war as an aberration in United States foreign policy, an unfortunate but unique mistake.What are the "lessons" of Vietnam? Many previous discussions have focused on narrow or misleading questions, rehashing military decisions, for example, or offering blow-by-blow accounts of Washington infighting, or castigating foreign-policy decision-makers. Michael Sullivan undertakes instead a broad and systematic treatment of the American experience in Vietnam, using a variety of theoretical perspectives to study several aspects of that experience, including the decision-making process and decision-makers' perceptions of the war; public opinion and "mood" before, during, and after the war; and the Vietnam War in relation to the Cold War and to power structures and patterns of violence in the international system.The major goal of The Vietnam War: A Study in the Making of American Policy is to show that the American experience, not only in Vietnam but elsewhere in the world, must be understood as an integral part of the processes of both American foreign policy and international politics. Sullivan demonstrates the importance of using a variety of empirical and quantitative evidence to study foreign policy and of relating a specific historical situation like the Vietnam War to broader theories of international relations.
Description based upon print version of record.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal ReviewSullivan intends ``to show how the American involvement in the Vietnam War must be viewed not as a single, time-bound, isolated, aberrant incident, but as part of the dynamic of American foreign policy. Seeking to establish Vietnam as part of a long cycle of U.S. foreign relations, he considers presidential perceptions of Vietnam, theoretical models of U.S. decision making, popular attitudes toward the war, and the long-term international trends that transcended the war. He closes with some commonplace comments on the ``lessons'' of Vietnam. Undoubtedly, Vietnam represented a brief but violent collision in the greater histories of Americans, Vietnamese, and the whole international system. But this book, limited in scope and resources, can only suggest why this was so. It fails to address the question at the heart of its concern with the gravity and comprehensiveness that question demands. Charles DeBenedetti, History Dept., Univ. of Toledo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
CHOICE ReviewSullivan (University of Arizona) attempts to apply international relations theory to the Vietnam War. He includes in his analyses world systems theory, decision-making models, theory of the long-cycle in foreign policy mood shifts, and measurement of such shifts based on public opinion polls. Content analysis is used to examine whether Vietnam was important in presidential concerns and changes in presidential symbolic rhetoric from 1961 to 1973 (as an indicator of commitment). The analysis is removed from the specifics of the Vietnam War and does not aim to provide causal explanations. In the prolific literature on the war, this work is one of the few to reject diplomatic history and policy assumption approaches as useful to the study of the war. Instead, the Vietnam War is used as an issue in US foreign policy to assess the validity of the international relations approaches examined. Insofar as international relations theory has not, on the whole, dealt with the Vietnam War, this is a welcome development. Sullivan argues that the Vietnam War does not conform to the ``rational means-ends model'' of decision-making models whereby long-term goals are identified and then dictate the means. Individual leaders make policy within an international context that shapes their decisions. Domestic factors play a minimal role. Index and references provided. Well-prepared charts illustrate results from content and other data analysis. Upper-division and graduate students.-J. Werner, Columbia University
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Michael P. Sullivan is associate professor of political science at the University of Arizona and is the author of International Relations: Theories and Evidence .