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Download Nixon's Vietnam War (Modern War Studies (Paperback)) epub

by Jeffrey Kimball

The signing of the Paris Agreement in 1973 ended not only America's Vietnam War but also Richard Nixon's best laid plans. After years of secret negotiations, threats of massive bombing, and secret diplomacy designed to shatter strained Communist alliances, the president had to settle for a peace that fell far short of his original aims.This is the first book to focus exclusively on Nixon's direction of the Vietnam War. Based on extensive interviews with principal players and original research in Vietnam, it goes behind the scenes in Washington and into the minds of America's leaders to provide the most complete and balanced analysis of Nixon's and Kissinger's complex and tortuous strategy and diplomacy.Jeffrey Kimball has conducted exhaustive research into recently declassified files and has reexamined Nixon's and Kissinger's postwar writings to depict a hidden reality quite different from that previously presented. The author's absorbing tale traces Nixon's involvement with Vietnam back to 1953 with his advocacy of interventionist policies and demonstrates how the foreign policy lessons he learned before his election served as the basis for the goals he pursued in office. He describes Nixon's struggle to appease his hawkish supporters while making good on his campaign promise to end the war and how in the face of other foreign and domestic problems, Vietnam became the major preoccupation of his presidency.Kimball explores Nixon's peculiar psychology and his curious relationship with Henry Kissinger to reveal how they influenced his pursuit of globalist goals in Vietnam. He reveals how the Nixon-Kissinger relationship worked-and how it almost fell apart. He also describes the keystone in Nixon's strategy-the "Madman Theory"—which he employed to make the Communist nations think he could be provoked into fits of irrationality that might lead him to use nuclear weapons.Compellingly written and painstakingly researched, Nixon's Vietnam War combines grand synthesis with new information and revealing insights, including the perspectives of the Vietnamese and their Chinese and Soviet allies. As more is disclosed about the war, it will serve as an indispensable resource for understanding both that tragic conflict and the troubled mind of the leader who ultimately prolonged it.
Download Nixon's Vietnam War (Modern War Studies (Paperback)) epub
ISBN: 0700611908
ISBN13: 978-0700611904
Category: Other
Subcategory: Humanities
Author: Jeffrey Kimball
Language: English
Publisher: University Press of Kansas (November 20, 1998)
Pages: 512 pages
ePUB size: 1769 kb
FB2 size: 1128 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 239
Other Formats: doc mbr rtf docx

"Nixon's Vietnam War" was a breakthrough book when it was published in 1998. It was a well-documented history of U.S. policy and a useful corrective to the biased memoirs of Nixon and Kissinger. Unfortunately, the book is quite dated today (2017). Since the time of publication, U.S. archives have been opened, many Vietnamese documents have been published, studies galore of Nixon and Kissinger have appeared, and we have a much better understanding of the role of China and the Soviet Union in the Vietnam War. The book is not especially well-written and it contains little information on the North Vietnamese side of the war. I can't think of any reason for students or scholars to read it -- let alone buy it -- today.
This smart, incisive, and telling book neatly unzips the clever reconstruction that many neo-conservative authors have bought into regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War by the Nixon administration. While few of us would quarrel with the idea that Nixon accomplished much on the world scene, we still must protest the idea held by many that he was so severely hampered in his prosecution of the war by a combination of internal and external constraints that he was unable to execute the compassionate, intelligent, and objective policies toward southeast Asia that he and Henry Kissinger had so painstakingly devised. Rather, we learn here that his Vietnam policies were as full of the `sturm und drang' contradictions seen elsewhere in his administration. For Nixon, prosecution of the Vietnam War was just another case of "politics as usual", another opportunity to pit conservative against liberal, hawk against dove, for personal aggrandizement and short-term political gain.
Far from flying with the angels, both Nixon and Kissinger bloodied their hands by instituting policies that resulted a dramatic increase in both American and Vietnamese casualties, instituting policies that continued the escalation of the war and its extension to new areas such as Laos and Cambodia. Using the conflict in Vietnam as a key element to engage both the Soviet Union and Communist China, Nixon seemed to lose sight of the need to deal with the specific factors propelling the war even as he became increasingly engaged with it, thinking he could simply "bomb" the North Vietnamese into capitulating regardless of the mounting evidence to the contrary. At times his conduct of the war was not only irrational and extremely counter-productive, but also criminal and unnecessary, as with the incursions into Cambodia in 1970, which spurred an avalanche of student protest and increasing political resistance at home.
Nixon's presidency is a study in contrasts, a reflection of the internal contradictions propelling the President himself. Nixon is truly one of the most fascinating of our modern presidents, a remarkable amalgam of his genius, daring, and all-too human flaws, a man so haunted and tortured by his interior demons that he spent the balance of his post=presidency years attempting to reconstruct the truth about his conduct of the presidency and the war in Vietnam. Here is revealed a man so anxious to gain the presidency that he outrageously influenced the President of South Vietnam during the 1968 presidential campaign to disengage from an effort by sitting President Lyndon Johnson to end the war. How can we expect a man capable of such perverted motives to do "the right thing" to save life and treasure by bringing the war to an "honorable" conclusion?
Instead, we find the same irrational, pseduo-macho tendencies as led to the debacle of Watergate perpetrated onto the war in Vietnam, resulting in thousands of additional deaths and casualties. This is a wonderful book, one that lays bare the truth about the self-serving efforts by Nixon, Kissinger, and a number of over-eager neo-conservatives to reconstruct the truth about the conduct of the war in Vietnam in order to salve their structure of beliefs and also lay blame for the war at the doorsteps of sixties liberals. I found myself engaged and excited by the author's interesting approach, and was quite impressed by the interviews, documents, and research used to present the evidence included in the book. This is one I can heartily recommend, and enthusiastically give a full five star rating to. Enjoy!
This was an anticipated read. Here for the first time is an account of the Vietnam war fought by the Nixon administration. Nixon began his experience with Vietnam with more then 500,000 men in Vietnam, and he inherited the massive protests from the LBJ administration. Nixon's first reaction, since the Army had crushed the Vietnamese in the aftermath of Tet, was to break the will of the enemy. Nixon's instincts led him into the Christmas bombing in 72, the bombing of Hanoi, the intervention in Cambodia and the mining of Haiphong harbor. All these acts came just short of crippling N. Vietnam. And then, just as the war was about to be won Kissinger signed the Paris accords. Why? Because Nixon had promised `peace with honor'. Nixon had ended the draft, re-instituted the volunteer army and eventually brought all the Americans back home. But in the end he ensured the end of the freedom of S. Vietnam. This book tries to blacken the Nixon legacy further by showing that he needlessly prolonged the war and that he caused undue destruction of the North.
Yet the book has several gaps. First and foremost it is a political, not a military account, which is unfortunate for anyone interested in the facts on the ground and the truth behind the `Vietnamization' of the war. So we don't learn much about the competence or abilities of newly trained S. Vietnamese units nor do we learn about the successes of programs like Phoenix. Also missing is the truth behind the fact that the protestors were actually looked to by the North as inspiration to keep fighting. In the end this is a necessary addition to the scholarship on the Nixon period 1968-72, but lacks many points.
Seth J. Frantzman
The definitive study of Nixon and the Vietnam War; excellent writing and research.
I'm writing a review because the rest of these reviews sound like they were all taken from the same dust jacket, which is where reviews like those belong!
The Kimball books all have in common that they are ideologically driven. All Kimball does is arrange the so-called "evidence" --- that is, the out-of context quotes, the out-of-context items and figures and so forth --- to suit a certain viewpoint of the Viet Nam war.
For instance, Kimball goes on at some length in attempts to "prove" the patently ridiculous theory that the relentless opposition to the war on the part of the press and the pro-Hanoi, communist-lead "anti-war" movement did not prolong the war, when in fact as those of us who were there clearly know from direct experience, the anti-war movement and protests enouraged the North Viet Namese.
Kimball's endorsement of and his zany attempts to "prove" that ridiculous theory clearly demonstrate the ideological fantasizing behind this book.
To make a claim to the contrary is just nothing more than ideological blather, wishful thinking on the part of "'60's liberals" who [email protected] on us in the war.
Whether Kimball is one of these or not, he certainly knows his audience and how to play them.
This book is not and will NOT be the last word on Viet Nam. Those of us who lived through it all will see to that.
Sadaron above the Gods
Nixon's Vietnam War is stunningly informative. It is a tour de force and a joy to read.