Certain Trumpet

Douglas Kinnard, Author Potomac Books $22.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-08-040581-0
Maxwell Taylor, an unregenerate ``hawk,'' was one of the few advisers who supported President Lyndon Johnson's conduct of the Vietnam war to the very end. His eight-year involvement with Vietnam was longer than that of any senior American official. Kinnard ( 1890-1990: A Pictorial History ) traces his influence on presidential policy-making both in strategic decisions and domestic and international matters relating to Vietnam between 1960 and 1968, first as John Kennedy's military representative, then as ambassador to Saigon and presidential consultant under LBJ. Based partly on 12 interviews with Taylor before his death in '87, the book portrays him as ``the very model of the modern soldier-statesman'' and the first of the new breed of managerial generals. Kinnard also reveals Taylor's strong anti-media feelings: the great mistake of the Vietnam War in his view was ``the failure to impose censorship on the news media.'' Kinnard concludes that Taylor's role in the Vietnam War was ``central but not decisive.'' A balanced look at one of Kennedy and Johnson's key advisers, but a study of limited appeal. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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