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Complete Idiot Guide Vietnam War 1e Paperback – Oct 13 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha Books; 1 edition (Oct. 13 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028639499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028639499
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.1 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,010,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

If you are too young to remember the Vietnam War, this book will give you a comprehensive view of the thirty-year conflict, a more complete story than you might get in your history textbook. It will satisfy the curiosity of those who want to know more about the history and culture of the United States during the sixites and seventies, and it will give older readers an unbiased reminder of their youth.

About the Author

Timothy P. Maga, PhD, is the Oglesby Professor American Heritage at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. He teaches U.S. diplomatic history, modern Japanese history, U.S.-Asian/Pacific relations, the Vietnam War and the U.S. Constitution. In 1994, he was named Scholar of the Year by Bentley College; in 1983 he received the Best Lecturer award in recognition of teaching excellence in history from the University of Maryland. He has held several senior political appointments in the Clinton administration. The author of many books, articles and scholarly papers, Dr. Maga was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in history for his book, John F. Kennedy and the New Pacific Community, published in 1990.

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First Sentence
History hurts. It's the study of dead people and old stuff, a university student once told me, and it offers little relevance to today's fast-paced world. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is very similar to the Dummies guide to the Vietnam conflict. At my book store there are 150 books on Vietnam covering 6 shelves with 20 to 25 books per shelf. Most books are personal accounts or on the weapons and military methods. A few are more socio-political.
Every one of the above 150 books is essentially from the American perspective. For example in the present book near the back of this 350 plus page book there is an analysis of the 58,000 US combatants killed in action, i.e.: how many navy, air force, marines, army, etc. were killed. The book covers the history of the conflict in terms of what Ho Chi Minh wants to accomplish and then what is the US response. The fighting covers decades in mostly chronological order. It discusses the politicians, the cabinet members, the DOD people, the generals, the conflicts, the weapons, the geography etc. So overall one gets a reasonable picture of the conflict in a summary form.
There are black and white drawings, maps, photographs, quotations, historical notes, and special notes and inserts. If you were in the war and you wanted your son or daughter to get a quick idea of the conflict, start to finish this would be a reasonable summary book, or perhaps a gateway book to the subject. I would rate this book ahead of the Dummies book.
What is missing from this book and most others is the utter devastation caused to the stoic peoples of Vietnam by their own fighting and by the US invasion. Millions were killed and large parts of Vietnam were destroyed by herbicides. These events are not listed nor are they seriously acknowledged. So in that way the book tells only half the story and conveniently ignores the pointless destruction (since the US ended up withdrawing in the end). We get to understand the US politicians and what they did, and the actions of the US armed forces in some detail, but we somehow forgot about the millions of victims.
Jack in Toronto
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Format: Paperback
Despite its unfortunate title, this is the best guide to the history of the Vietnam war available. Dr. Maga has mastered the sources and fully understands the various interpretations regarding the war. As a result this book is an expert synthesis of original and earlier scholarship which is of value to both the expert and the general reader. Two aspects of this study are worthy of special note. First is Dr. Maga's view of the war as "America's Thirty-Years War", which allows him to take in a more comprehensive, longer-range view of the conflict. Second, his placing the war in the context of US relations with east Asia generally is a valuable reminder of the greater regional issues at stake in America's Vietnam efforts. As our leading scholar of post-World War II relations between the US and East Asia, Dr. Maga is uniquely qualified to provide this vital perspective. The fact that the Vietnam War still rages in some minds is proven by the earlier reviews of this fine book. There seems to be general agreement that the Vietnam War was a failure for the US. Paths diverge over the reasons for this failure. Some, such as the earlier reviewers, seem to take the position that Vietnam was a praiseworthy effort sabotaged by traitors in the press and on the streets and anyone who disagrees with this analysis must be some sort of "leftist" himself. But Dr. Maga is no leftist; he is a realist. He understands the essential truth of our Vietnam experience: that it was a mistake based upon our sometimes willful ignorance of the circumstances and situation in Southeast Asia itself. There is nothing in this book that suggests that Dr. Maga does not believe communism was not worth opposing. The strategy was sound but the tactics failed.Read more ›
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By D. C. Carrad on Jan. 14 2001
Format: Paperback
The other books in this series are quite good -- this is a bizarre disappointment. I am not sure what the author is getting at -- 8 pages of coverage of Indonesia, including the downing of CIA pilot Allen Pope? This is an interesting story but has about as much to do with Vietnam as whether Margaret Thatcher prefers martinis to manhattans. The author completely mangles the significance of the Tet offensive -- a military rout but a propaganda victory for the North -- and actually claims the North Vietnamese were not interested in domestic American political reaction!! (It's how they won the war, as they are currently the first to tell you). The leftist bias shows too -- lots of coverage of the "antiwar" movement but one searches in vain for any stories about GIs. Can't even find any mention of General Hershey or the draft, or the building of the Wall (one tiny mention on p. 4 in the context of discussing how many women served in Nam!), downplaying of the NVA/VC massacre in Hue of 3-5,000 innocent people and their families but lots of discussion of My Lai, etc., etc. Not a good introduction to the subject. Not good at all. Almost any other book on Vietnam is a better place to start, including Stewart O'Nan's college anthology or his novel The Names of the Dead, or COL Harry Summers Atlas of the Vietnam War.
And, yes, I know whereof I speak -- served in Vietnam in the US Army in 1968-69.
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Format: Paperback
Having gained an interest in the war nobody seems willing to discuss, I started reading about the Vietnam war about a year ago. During this time I've read some pretty heavy books and some very moving personal accounts, yet found it difficult to recieve an overall picture of the war. This book does a great job of giving that background story and very general sort of history from which to build on. I must admit that I find the comments that the book may not be entirely accurate somewhat unsettling, but I still think that the book has great value. In High School and even college I recieved virtually no instruction on the Vietnam war, and having to start from scratch I found this book very valuable. In the end, it may not be the definative history of the Vietnam war, but if you take it for what it is it doesn't have to be.
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