Anatomy of a War

Gabriel Kolko, Author Pantheon Books $12.95 (628p) ISBN 978-0-394-53874-7
Opening with an account of the rise of Vietnamese communism and ending with the fall of Saigon, this encompassing study reveals how ""one side's human, ideological, and organizational resources led it to victory under conditions of vast material inferiority.'' Kolko, a historian who now teaches in Canada, examines in depth issues such as land reform, the social system in South Vietnam, the ideological foundations of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the economic impact of the war on the United States. He contends that our policymakers (``with certain reservations and lapses'') never considered an outright military victory possible, and he pointedly draws a connection between the Washington-Saigon alliance and the ``current dilemma of the U.S.'s relationship to all of its Third World clients, on which it has become fatally dependent as instruments for applying its foreign policy.'' A notable aspect of the book is the author's admiration for the flexibility and inventiveness of the North Vietnamese, contrasted with his disdain for the doggedly unrealistic countermeasures of the Americans and South Vietnamese. January 20
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 978-0-394-74761-3
Paperback - 688 pages - 978-1-56584-218-2
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