before the quagmire american intervention in laos 1954 1961

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Before The Quagmire

Author : William J. Rust
ISBN : 9780813135786
Genre : History
File Size : 67. 54 MB
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In the decade preceding the first U.S. combat operations in Vietnam, the Eisenhower administration sought to defeat a communist-led insurgency in neighboring Laos. Although U.S. foreign policy in the 1950s focused primarily on threats posed by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the American engagement in Laos evolved from a small cold war skirmish into a superpower confrontation near the end of President Eisenhower's second term. Ultimately, the American experience in Laos foreshadowed many of the mistakes made by the United States in Vietnam in the 1960s. In Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954--1961, William J. Rust delves into key policy decisions made in Washington and their implementation in Laos, which became first steps on the path to the wider war in Southeast Asia. Drawing on previously untapped archival sources, Before the Quagmire documents how ineffective and sometimes self-defeating assistance to Laotian anticommunist elites reflected fundamental misunderstandings about the country's politics, history, and culture. The American goal of preventing a communist takeover in Laos was further hindered by divisions among Western allies and U.S. officials themselves, who at one point provided aid to both the Royal Lao Government and to a Laotian general who plotted to overthrow it. Before the Quagmire is a vivid analysis of a critical period of cold war history, filling a gap in our understanding of U.S. policy toward Southeast Asia and America's entry into the Vietnam War.

So Much To Lose

Author : William J. Rust
ISBN : 9780813144788
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 60. 80 MB
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Judith Brockenbrough McGuire's Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War is among the first of such works published after the Civil War. Although it is one of the most-quoted memoirs by a Confederate woman, James I. Robertson's edition is the first to present vital details not given in the original text. His meticulous annotations furnish references for poems and quotations, supply the names of individuals whom McGuire identifies by their initials alone, and provide an in-depth account of McGuire's extraordinary life. Throughout the war years, McGuire made poignant entries in her diary. She wrote incisive commentaries on society, ruminated on past glories, and detailed her hardships. Her entries are a highly personal, highly revealing mixture of family activities; military reports and rumors; conditions behind the battle lines; and her observations on life, faith, and the future. In providing illuminating background and references that significantly enhance the text, Robertson's edition adds considerably to our understanding of this important work.

Embers Of War

Author : Fredrik Logevall
ISBN : 9780375504426
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 1 MB
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A history of the four decades leading up to the Vietnam War offers insights into how the U.S. became involved, identifying commonalities between the campaigns of French and American forces while discussing relevant political factors.

Kennedy S Wars

Author : Lawrence Freedman
ISBN : 0198030754
Genre : History
File Size : 35. 57 MB
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In his thousand-day presidency, John F. Kennedy led America through one of its most difficult and potentially explosive eras. With the Cold War at its height and the threat of communist advances in Europe and the Third World, Kennedy had the unenviable task of maintaining U.S. solidarity without leading the western world into a nuclear catastrophe. In Kennedy's Wars, noted historian Lawrence Freedman draws on the best of Cold War scholarship and newly released government documents to illuminate Kennedy's approach to war and his efforts for peace. He recreates insightfully the political and intellectual milieu of the foreign policy establishment during Kennedy's era with vivid profiles of his top advisors--Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, Robert Kennedy--and influential figures such as Dean Acheson and Walt Rostow. Tracing the evolution of traditional liberalism into the Cold War liberalism of Kennedy's cabinet, Freedman evaluates their responses to the tensions in Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. He gives each conflict individual attention, showing how foreign policy decisions came to be defined for each new crisis in the light of those that had gone before. The book follows Kennedy as he wrestles with the succession of major conflicts--taking advice, weighing the risks of inadvertently escalating the Cold War into outright military confrontation, exploring diplomatic options, and forming strategic judgments that would eventually prevent a major war during his presidency.

Into The Quagmire

Author : Brian VanDeMark
ISBN : 0199880042
Genre : History
File Size : 69. 57 MB
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In November of 1964, as Lyndon Johnson celebrated his landslide victory over Barry Goldwater, the government of South Vietnam lay in a shambles. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor described it as a country beset by "chronic factionalism, civilian-military suspicion and distrust, absence of national spirit and motivation, lack of cohesion in the social structure, lack of experience in the conduct of government." Virtually no one in the Johnson Administration believed that Saigon could defeat the communist insurgency--and yet by July of 1965, a mere nine months later, they would lock the United States on a path toward massive military intervention which would ultimately destroy Johnson's presidency and polarize the American people. Into the Quagmire presents a closely rendered, almost day-by-day account of America's deepening involvement in Vietnam during those crucial nine months. Mining a wealth of recently opened material at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and elsewhere, Brian VanDeMark vividly depicts the painful unfolding of a national tragedy. We meet an LBJ forever fearful of a conservative backlash, which he felt would doom his Great Society, an unsure and troubled leader grappling with the unwanted burden of Vietnam; George Ball, a maverick on Vietnam, whose carefully reasoned (and, in retrospect, strikingly prescient) stand against escalation was discounted by Rusk, McNamara, and Bundy; and Clark Clifford, whose last-minute effort at a pivotal meeting at Camp David failed to dissuade Johnson from doubling the number of ground troops in Vietnam. What comes across strongly throughout the book is the deep pessimism of all the major participants as things grew worse--neither LBJ, nor Bundy, nor McNamara, nor Rusk felt confident that things would improve in South Vietnam, that there was any reasonable chance for victory, or that the South had the will or the ability to prevail against the North. And yet deeper into the quagmire they went. Whether describing a tense confrontation between George Ball and Dean Acheson ("You goddamned old bastards," Ball said to Acheson, "you remind me of nothing so much as a bunch of buzzards sitting on a fence and letting the young men die") or corrupt politicians in Saigon, VanDeMark provides readers with the full flavor of national policy in the making. More important, he sheds greater light on why America became entangled in the morass of Vietnam.

The Best And The Brightest

Author : David Halberstam
ISBN : 9781588360984
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 49 MB
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David Halberstam’s masterpiece, the defining history of the making of the Vietnam tragedy, with a new Foreword by Senator John McCain. Using portraits of America’s flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country’s recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

Choosing War

Author : Fredrik Logevall
ISBN : 0520229193
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 87. 18 MB
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"Masterful. . . . Logevall presents a vivid and tragic portrait of the elements of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from the beginning of the Kennedy administration through the announcement of the American ground war in July 1965. In the process he reveals a troubling picture of top officials in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations persisting in efforts to boost the fortunes of sucessive governments of South Vietnam, even while they acknowledged that their chances for success were remote. In addition, he places the decision-making squarely in the international context."--Robert D. Schulzinger, author of "A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975" "Stunning in its research and highly sophisticated in its analysis, "Choosing War "is far and away the best study we have of Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the conflict in Vietnam."--George C. Herring "In this fine book, Fredrick Logevall offers the first detailed examination of why diplomacy failed to head off the Vietnam War. Grounding himself in documentary research and other sources from several countries, Logevall comes closer than anyone ever has to explaining what happened. His clear writing and deep analysis may well change our understanding of Vietnam as a quagmire."--John Prados, author of "The Hidden History of the Vietnam War" "A rising star among a new generation of historians, Fredrik Logevall has written the most important Vietnam book in years. By explaining the international context of that tragic conflict, "Choosing War" provides startling answers to the question, Why did the war happen? Controversial yet fair, this account challenges the reader to think through John F. Kennedy's and Lydon B. Johnson's individual responsibility for Vietnam. The effect is compelling, unforgettable history."--Timothy Naftali, co-author of ""One Hell of a Gamble: " Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964"

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