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Cambridge Essential Histories: The Vietnam War Reexamined
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Cambridge Essential Histories: The Vietnam War Reexamined (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Going beyond the dominant orthodox narrative to incorporate insight from revisionist scholarship on the Vietnam War, Michael G. Kort presents the case that the United States should have been able to win the war, and at a much lower cost than it suffered in defeat. Presenting a study that is both historiographic and a narrative history, Kort analyzes important factors such as the strong nationalist credentials and leadership qualities of South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem; the flawed military strategy of 'graduated response' developed by Robert McNamara; and the real reasons South Vietnam collapsed in the face of a massive North Vietnamese invasion in 1975. Kort shows how the US commitment to defend South Vietnam was not a strategic error but a policy consistent with US security interests during the Cold War, and that there were potentially viable strategic approaches to the war that might have saved South Vietnam.

Michael G. Kort is a Professor in the Social Sciences department of Boston University. He is the author of several books, including The Soviet Colossus: History and Aftermath (2010), The Columbia Guide to the Cold War (2001), and A Brief History of Russia (2008).

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