Comprehensive History

Comprehensive histories of the Vietnam War cover the conflict from its origins in the colonial era to its conclusion with the fall of Saigon. They set out the array of involved parties and attempt to explain what motivated each one to act as it did. Conduct of the war is analyzed by integrating political, diplomatic, military, economic and cultural factors, while root causes of United States failure and North Vietnamese success are brought to light.

Bestselling author Max Hastings, a former war correspondent for the BBC, spent three years interviewing scores of participants, both American and Vietnamese, and explored a multitude of documents and memoirs from both sides in order to create a definitive history of the Vietnam War. Hastings offers unique insight by presenting the conflict from a primarily Vietnamese perspective. The war was an epic tragedy for all involved, above all for the Vietnamese people. This was due not only to overwhelming U.S. firepower and the ineptness and corruption of South Vietnamese officials and officers, but also due to the ruthless tactics of the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong, which are spelled out in detail.

Bestselling author Max Hastings, a former war correspondent for the BBC, spent three years interviewing scores of participants, both American and Vietnamese, and explored a multitude of documents and memoirs from both sides in order to create a definitive history of the Vietnam War. Hastings offers unique insight by presenting the conflict from a primarily Vietnamese perspective. The war was an epic tragedy for all involved, above all for the Vietnamese people. This was due not only to overwhelming U.S. firepower and the ineptness and corruption of South Vietnamese officials and officers, but also due to the ruthless tactics of the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong, which are spelled out in detail.

Vietnam: A History
By Stanley Karnow

In July 1959, two military advisers became the first American fatalities in the effort to prop up the South Vietnamese government. Having just arrived as chief correspondent for Time and Life magazines, Stanley Karnow filed a report on that incident. He went on to cover the war in Vietnam on and off for the Washington Post, Time Magazine and other publications, into the 70s. His definitive study sets a foundation by briefly tracing forward through ancient Vietnamese history, the French colonial era and the Viet Minh rebellion. First published in 1983, it features revelations based on exclusive interviews with top officials who participated in the war on all sides, not to mention his own historical research and firsthand observations.

In July 1959, two military advisers became the first American fatalities in the effort to prop up the South Vietnamese government. Having just arrived as chief correspondent for Time and Life magazines, Stanley Karnow filed a report on that incident. He went on to cover the war in Vietnam on and off for the Washington Post, Time Magazine and other publications, into the 70s. His definitive study sets a foundation by briefly tracing forward through ancient Vietnamese history, the French colonial era and the Viet Minh rebellion. First published in 1983, it features revelations based on exclusive interviews with top officials who participated in the war on all sides, not to mention his own historical research and firsthand observations.

Through the personality of John Paul Vann, a U.S. Army officer who was a key figure in Vietnam from the earliest phase of American involvement, Neil Sheehan interweaves the political, military and historical currents leading to the great debacle. From the outset, Vann was an outspoken critic of U.S. strategy in Vietnam, condemning support for corrupt and ineffective South Vietnamese Army officers, indiscriminate bombing of peasant villages and support for a feudal social system that left the door open for communist agitation. Unable to convince upper echelons of the urgent need to adjust course, Vann began leaking reports of worrisome developments to young reporters in Vietnam, one of whom was Neil Sheehan.

Through the personality of John Paul Vann, a U.S. Army officer who was a key figure in Vietnam from the earliest phase of American involvement, Neil Sheehan interweaves the political, military and historical currents leading to the great debacle. From the outset, Vann was an outspoken critic of U.S. strategy in Vietnam, condemning support for corrupt and ineffective South Vietnamese Army officers, indiscriminate bombing of peasant villages and support for a feudal social system that left the door open for communist agitation. Unable to convince upper echelons of the urgent need to adjust course, Vann began leaking reports of worrisome developments to young reporters in Vietnam, one of whom was Neil Sheehan.

Professor Herring reviews the history of America's military involvement in Vietnam, from its considerable support for the French during the First Indochina War through the final days of the Republic of Vietnam, and beyond. His balanced insights are an integral part of the presentation, adding comprehension to the reader's awareness of the basic facts. The relationship between John F. Kennedy and Ngo Dinh Diem is termed a "limited partnership". Alternating efforts by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger to negotiate a settlement with the North Vietnamese and to bomb them into submission is described as a "war for peace". First published in 1979, recent discoveries by Vietnam scholars have been incorporated into this fifth edition.

Professor Herring reviews the history of America's military involvement in Vietnam, from its considerable support for the French during the First Indochina War through the final days of the Republic of Vietnam, and beyond. His balanced insights are an integral part of the presentation, adding comprehension to the reader's awareness of the basic facts. The relationship between John F. Kennedy and Ngo Dinh Diem is termed a "limited partnership". Alternating efforts by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger to negotiate a settlement with the North Vietnamese and to bomb them into submission is described as a "war for peace". First published in 1979, recent discoveries by Vietnam scholars have been incorporated into this fifth edition.