A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975 by Robert D. Schulzinger

By Robert D. Schulzinger

Even after 20 years, the reminiscence of the Vietnam battle turns out to hang-out our tradition. From Forrest Gump to Miss Saigon, from Tim O'Brien's Pulitzer Prize-winning Going After Cacciato to Robert McNamara's arguable memoir In Retrospect, americans are drawn time and again to consider our lengthy, tragic involvement in Southeast Asia. Now eminent historian Robert D. Schulzinger has combed the newly to be had documentary proof, either in private and non-private data, to provide an formidable, masterful account of 3 many years of conflict in Vietnam--the first significant full-length background of the clash to be in accordance with basic assets.

In A Time for War, Schulzinger paints an unlimited but problematic canvas of greater than 3 a long time of clash in Vietnam, from the 1st rumblings of uprising opposed to the French colonialists to the yankee intervention and eventual withdrawal. His entire narrative contains each point of the war--from the army (as obvious in his brisk account of the French failure at Dienbienphu) to the commercial (such because the salary raise sparked via the draft within the usa) to the political. Drawing on tremendous study, he bargains a bright and insightful portrait of the alterations in Vietnamese politics and society, from the increase of Ho Chi Minh, to the department of the rustic, to the struggles among South Vietnamese president Diem and seriously armed non secular sects, to the infighting and corruption that plagued Saigon. Schulzinger unearths accurately how outdoors powers--first the French, then the Americans--committed themselves to conflict in Indochina, even opposed to their very own higher judgment. Roosevelt, for instance, derided the French efforts to reassert their colonial keep an eye on after international warfare II, but Truman, Eisenhower, and their advisers steadily got here to think that Vietnam used to be relevant to American pursuits. The author's account of Johnson is very telling and tragic, describing how president might voice transparent headed, even prescient warnings in regards to the hazards of intervention--then switch his brain, committing America's status and army may to helping a corrupt, unpopular regime. Schulzinger deals sharp feedback of the yank army attempt, and gives a desirable glance contained in the Nixon White residence, exhibiting how the Republican president dragged out the battle gone the purpose while he learned that the U.S. couldn't win. eventually, Schulzinger paints an excellent political and social portrait of the days, illuminating the impression of the warfare at the lives of standard american citizens and Vietnamese. Schulzinger exhibits what it used to be wish to perform the war--as a standard soldier, an American nurse, a army flyer, a conscript within the military of the Republic of Vietnam, a Vietcong fighter, or an antiwar protester.

In a box crowded with fiction, memoirs, and renowned tracts, A Time for War will stand because the landmark historical past of America's longest conflict. according to wide archival study, will probably be the 1st position readers will flip so one can comprehend this tragic, divisive conflict.

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Extra resources for A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975

Sample text

9 In addition, French rule battered the self-confidence of prominent, educated Vietnamese, who lamented that their Confucian philosophy and the mandarin administrative traditions were no match for the technology of the Europeans. Emperors ashamed of having lost the mandate of heaven (the Vietnamese metaphor for legitimate rule), retreated to the pleasures of their palace in Hué. The travail of Vietnamese intellectuals paralleled those of Chinese bureaucrats appalled by the inability of their empire to resist the penetration of Europeans.

Ford Library, the Harvard University East Asia Institute, Tel Aviv University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Colorado, and the University of Denver. I also appreciate the comments by critics, notably William Becker and Maarten Pereboom, of papers on the Vietnam War I have delivered at meetings of professional societies. The manuscript has also benefited from the encouragement provided by many people. My friend Leonard Dinnerstein urged me to undertake this work, the contours of which have been shaped by his wise advice.

Together these men formed the nucleus of the movement that fought first the French, then the Japanese, then the French again, and finally the Americans until 1975. In 1930 the Great Depression extended beyond North America and Europe to afflict the colonial dependencies of the European powers. The collapse in international trade depressed rice prices, causing hardship to peasants who had to pay rents to Vietnamese landlords and taxes to the French government in cash, not rice. Tax revolts broke out spontaneously in central and southern Vietnam.

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