More than a quarter of a century after the last Marine Corps
Huey left the American embassy in Saigon, the lessons and legacies
of the most divisive war in twentieth-century American history are
as hotly debated as ever. Why did successive administrations choose
little-known Vietnam as the "test case" of American commitment in
the fight against communism? Why were the "best and brightest"
apparently blind to the illegitimacy of the state of South Vietnam?
Would Kennedy have pulled out had he lived? And what lessons
regarding American foreign policy emerged from the war?
"The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War" helps readers
understand this tragic and complex conflict. The book contains both
interpretive information and a wealth of facts in easy-to-find
form. Part I provides a lucid narrative overview of contested
issues and interpretations in Vietnam scholarship. Part II is a
mini-encyclopedia with descriptions and analysis of individuals,
events, groups, and military operations. Arranged alphabetically,
this section enables readers to look up isolated facts and
specialized terms. Part III is a chronology of key events. Part IV
is an annotated guide to resources, including films, documentaries,
CD-ROMs, and reliable Web sites. Part V contains excerpts from
historical documents and statistical data.
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