Vietnam : An American Ordeal book cover
6th Edition

An American Ordeal

ISBN 9780205637409
Published September 13, 2016 by Routledge
456 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides a comprehensive narrative history of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, from 1942 to 1975--with a concluding section that traces U.S.-Vietnam relations from the end of the war in 1975 to the present. Unlike most general histories of U.S.  involvement in Vietnam--which are either conventional diplomatic or military histories--this volume synthesizes the perspectives to explore both dimensions of the struggle in greater depth, elucidating more of the complexities of the U.S.-Vietnam entanglement. It explains why Americans tried so hard for so long to stop the spread of Communism into Indochina, and why they failed. Key topics: The Fall of Saigon: The End as Prelude. Vietnam: A Place and A People. The Elephant and the Tiger. An Experiment in Nation Building. Raising the Stakes. Going to War. The Chain of Thunders. The Year of the Monkey. A War to End a War. The End of the Tunnel. Market: For anyone curious to know about the long American involvement in Southeast Asia, 1942-1975.   

Table of Contents

Epiphany: Of Black Marble and Memories; The Fall of Saigon: The End as Prelude; 1. Vietnam: A Place and A People; 2. The Elephant and the Tiger; 3. An Experiment in Nation Building; 4. Raising the Stakes; 5. America Goes to War; 6. The Chain of Thunders; 7. The Year of the Monkey; 8. A War to End a War; 9. The End of the Tunnel.; Tables; Glossary; Chronology; Bibliography; Index.   

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George Donelson Moss is Professor Emeritus of history at the City College of San Francisco.


"I believe Vietnam: An American Ordeal is the definitive text on America's war in Southeast Asia. To the best of my knowledge, it is still the only book that carefully integrates cultural, historical, political, and military aspects of the conflict. It is written with compassion and fairness to all of the victims; it provides a balanced overview for the novice or expert." — Paul Conway, State University of New York, Oneonta


"Vietnam: An American Ordeal is clearly written, handles complex topics in straightforward prose, and I think students will find it very accessible. What distinguishes this book from others is its fair and balanced account of some extremely polarizing and sensitive topics....Moss provides useful analogies, good guidance through the intricacies of government and military policy, and frequent summaries, often both before and after a difficult passage, which will help students follow the main story without drowning in the details." — Janann Sherman, University of Memphis