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Vietnam : the history of an unwinnable war, 1945-1975

Author: John Prados; U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.
Publisher: Carlisle Barracks, PA : U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 2010.
Series: Brooks E. Kleber memorial readings in military history
Edition/Format:   eVideo : National government publication : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Vietnam war continues to be the focus of intense controversy. While most people-- liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, historians, pundits, and citizens alike-- agree that the United States did not win the war, a vocal minority argue the opposite or debate why victory never came, attributing the quagmire to everything from domestic politics to the press. The military never lost a battle; how then did  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource, Videorecording
Document Type: Internet Resource, Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: John Prados; U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.
OCLC Number: 517945019
Notes: Lecture held February 4, 2010 in Ridgway Hall, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.
Title from title frames (viewed on February 17, 2010).
Presentation based on: Vietnam : the history of an unwinnable war, 1945-1975, by John Prados.
Performer(s): Presenter, John Prados.
Description: 1 streaming video file (69 min.) : digital, WMV file
Details: Mode of access: Internet from U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center web site. Windows Media Player required.
Series Title: Brooks E. Kleber memorial readings in military history
Responsibility: John Prados.

Abstract:

The Vietnam war continues to be the focus of intense controversy. While most people-- liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, historians, pundits, and citizens alike-- agree that the United States did not win the war, a vocal minority argue the opposite or debate why victory never came, attributing the quagmire to everything from domestic politics to the press. The military never lost a battle; how then did it not win the war? Stepping back from this overheated fray and drawing upon several decades of research John Prados takes a fresh look at both the war and the debates about it to produce a reassessment of one of our nation's most tragic episodes. He weaves together multiple perspectives across an epic-sized canvas where domestic politics, ideologies, nations, and militaries all collide. Prados patiently pieces back together the events and moments, from the end of World War II until our dispiriting departure from Vietnam in 1975, that reveal a war that now appears to have been truly unwinnable due to opportunities lost, missed, ignored, or refused. He shows how, from the Truman through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, American leaders consistently ignored or misunderstood the realities in Southeast Asia and passed up every opportunity to avoid war in the first place or avoid becoming ever more mired in it after it began. Highlighting especially Ike's seminal and long-lasting influence on our Vietnam policy, Prados demonstrates how and why our range of choices narrowed with each passing year, while our decision-making continued to be distorted by Cold War politics and fundamental misperceptions about the culture, psychology, goals, and abilities of both our enemies and our allies in Vietnam.

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