Portrait of a Tragedy: America and the Vietnam War

James A. Warren, Author
James A. Warren, Author Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books $17.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-688-07454-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
While Warren's purported aim is to present an even-handed account of the Vietnam era for contemporary youngsters, this is not a clear-cut narrative history; it does not, unfortunately, differentiate sufficiently between versions of the ``facts'' for the uninformed reader. The book is best seen as historical interpretation with a clear point of view: America lacked the ``will'' to win. Warren notes that ``some have called the actions of antiwar activists treasonous, and not without justification.'' In the final chapter, he reviews the ``theories that have been put forth to explain how the United States was humiliated by North Vietnam.'' Warren believes that ``the intensity of our will . . . was kept deliberately low''; he further asserts that Americans ``were never presented with a clear objective that seemed worthy of the sacrifice necessary to win.'' Adults who agree with this view may term this work an eloquent survey; opponents may find it skewed. The book would have been enhanced by a more inclusive glossary and a pronunciation guide. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
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