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Dereliction of duty : Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the lies that led to Vietnam

Author: H R McMaster
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Dereliction of Duty makes a unique, groundbreaking contribution toward clarifying what happened, why, and who was responsible for the decisions that led to direct U.S. military intervention in the Vietnam War. Based on more than five years of painstaking research, it includes startling revelations from previously classified transcripts of crucial meetings, many of which were obtained by the author through the
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Details

Named Person: Lyndon B Johnson
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: H R McMaster
ISBN: 0060187956 9780060187958 0060929081 9780060929084
OCLC Number: 36207626
Description: xviii, 446 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: The new frontiersmen and the old guard : 1961-October 1962 --
Havana and Hanoi : October 1962-November 1963 --
New war new leader November : 1963-January 1964 --
Graduated pressure : January-March 1964 --
From distrust to deceit : March-July 1964 --
Across the threshold : July-August 1964 --
Contriving consensus : August-September 1964 --
Prophecies rejected and the path of least resistance : September-November 1964 --
Planning for failure : November-December 1964 --
A fork in the road : December 1964-February 1965 --
The foot in the door : February-March 1965 --
A quicksand of lies : March-April 1965 --
The coach and his team : April-June 1965 --
War without direction : April-June 1965 --
Five silent men : July 1965.
Responsibility: H.R. McMaster.
More information:

Abstract:

Dereliction of Duty makes a unique, groundbreaking contribution toward clarifying what happened, why, and who was responsible for the decisions that led to direct U.S. military intervention in the Vietnam War. Based on more than five years of painstaking research, it includes startling revelations from previously classified transcripts of crucial meetings, many of which were obtained by the author through the Freedom of Information Act; tapes of private telephone conversations; exclusive access to personal diaries; interviews with participants; and oral histories.

The result is an inescapable correction to the prevailing view that an American war in Vietnam was inevitable. The book follows step-by-step the series of developments and secret decisions made in Washington between November 1963 and July 1965 to intensify the American military commitment in Southeast Asia. And it reveals that the disaster that followed was not caused by impersonal forces but by uniquely human failures at the highest levels of the U.S. government: arrogance, weakness, lying in the pursuit of self-interest, and above all, the abdication of responsibility to the American people.

The roles played by the president's closest advisers - McGeorge Bundy, Dean Rusk, George Ball, Maxwell Taylor, and especially Robert McNamara - in the decisions to escalate American involvement are central to the story. And the reasons behind those decisions - now exposed - challenge McNamara's claim that American policy makers were prisoners of the ideology of the containment of Communism and therefore should be absolved of responsibility for the final outcome. The book also reveals for the first time how the virtual exclusion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the decision-making process exacerbated the problem.

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