An International History of the Vietnam War

R. B. Smith, Author St. Martin's Press $25 (3p) ISBN 978-0-312-42206-6
The first volume of this history, subtitled ""Revolution Versus Containment, 195561,'' dealt with the gradual breakdown of the 1954 Geneva settlement in Indochina and the resurgence of revolutionary warfare in South Vietnam. In this volume, Smith analyzes high-level debate and decision-making during the Kennedy administration and the early months of the Johnson administration, placing events in Indochina in the wider international picture. He shows, for example, the connection between events in Indochina and the course of Soviet-Chinese-Vietnamese relations between 1961 and 1965. He presents evidence that Kennedy had begun a fundamental reassessment of U.S. commitment in South Vietnam at the time of his death, and goes on to argue that Johnson, during the crucial period between his swearing-in and late February 1964, could not have withdrawn U.S. commitment ``on any terms save those of abject surrender to Hanoi.'' Reexamining the Tonkin Gulf incidents in light of international Communist strategy, Smith brings into focus the probable reasons why Hanoi ordered the attack on the Maddox and why Washington used the report of a second attack as a pretext for retaliation. February 3
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 2 pages - 978-0-312-00551-1
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Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-312-42209-7
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