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America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 (1979)

by George C. Herring

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564342,804 (3.66)3
This book has been updated to incorporate new information about the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. It shows the reasons for America's intervention, the nature of its involvement, and the causes and consequences of its failure.
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Herring's "America's Longest War" is a prophetic text. Not only is it a wonderful account and history of the American involvement in Vietnam, reading it alongside the American experience in the Middle East of late, will knock your socks off. Every chapter you read brings to mind how the US has approached its recent debacles in nearly the same way, with the same misperceptions and missteps. Deja vu. If you read it in the 1980s, read it again post-Afghanistan. You will walk away in amazement at the prescience of the author. That said, in terms of Vietnam, the focus on 1950 as the start of the war, America's longest war, is arguable, hence Vietnam remains the longest war. The section on additional reading and the index are helpful. ( )
  Donald123 | Dec 30, 2021 |
George C. Herring's America's Longest War is probably the most all-inclusive history you can find about the Vietnam War. The reading is definitely a little dry, and in some ways, he tends to be left-leaning, but compared to most histories, his succeeds at trying to be as unbiased as possible. Moreover, he seems to update the material on a regular basis because new information and understandings are always coming to light about this conflict.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this as a well-rounded account about the Vietnam War. If you're someone like I was, who was born well after the Vietnam War, and the only things you knew about it are a few confused stories and accounts handed down by family members, then I would especially recommend this book for you. I believe the Vietnam conflict is one of the most important wars to learn about, because it essentially shaped the way America's government handles wars today, and moreover, how people perceive them. ( )
  strathconaslung | Jul 4, 2014 |
Been a long time since I read this, but it wasn't bad as I remember. Did have a noticable agenda (but what Vietnam book doesn't?). ( )
  Wprecht | Sep 6, 2006 |
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For Christy, John, Andrew, and Madeline
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Lisa, Peter, and Caili
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"'Vietnam, Vietnam.... There are no sure answers.'"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This book has been updated to incorporate new information about the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. It shows the reasons for America's intervention, the nature of its involvement, and the causes and consequences of its failure.

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