The Vietnam War remains one of the most contentious events in American history. This book is a collection of essays that seeks to examine the current state of scholarship on the war and its aftermath. It is divided into five sections which address American presidents and the war, the conduct of the war in the field, the impact of the Tet Offensive, the meaning of the war and its lasting legacies. The purpose of the collection is to present the most recent contributions to the continuing academic and scholarly dialogue about one of the most momentous historical events of the twentieth century.
Contents: Part I US Presidents and the Vietnam War: What did Eisenhower tell Kennedy about Indochina? The politics of misperception, Fred I. Greenstein and Richard H. Immerman; Vietnam: Mr Johnson's war - or Mr Eisenhower's?, Edward Cuddy; The mythology surrounding Lyndon Johnson, his advisers and the 1965 decision to escalate the Vietnam War, David M. Barrett; Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam, Fredrik Logevall; Differing evaluations of Vietnamization, Scott Sigmund Gartner; Public opinion and foreign policy: the Nixon administration and the pursuit of peace with honor in Vietnam, Andrew Z. Katz; Nixon's nuclear ploy, William Burr and Jeffrey Kimball. Part II Prosecution of the War: To change a war: General Harold K. Johnson and the Provn study, Lewis Sorley; Winning the Vietnam War: Westmoreland's approach in two documents, John M. Carland; Calley's ghost, Phillip Beidler; The attack on Cap Mui Lay, Vietnam, July 1968, Faris R. Kirkland; North Vietnam's final offensive: strategic endgame nonpareil, Merle L. Pribbenow. Part III Tet and Khe Sanh: Khe Sanh - from the perspective of the North Vietnamese communists, Ang Cheng Guan; The meaning of Tet, Victor Davis Hanson; Appropriating Tet, Richard Falk. Part IV Looking Back on the Vietnam War: Why the United States fought in Vietnam, Larry Berman and Stephen R. Routh; 'Dominos', dynamos, and the Vietnam War, Gareth Porter; How we won in Vietnam, Viet D. Dinh; Vietnam in retrospect: could we have won?, Jeffrey Record. Part V Legacies of the Vietnam War: What are the lessons of Vietnam?, David Fromkin and James Chace; Presidential decisionmaking and Vietnam: lessons for strategists, Joseph R. Cerami; Vietnam, American foreign policy, and the uses of history, George Herring; In the shadow of the dragon: doctrine and the US army after Vietnam, Roger J. Spiller; The 'unlessons' of Vietnam, James J. Wirtz; Index.