The Bad War

Kim Willenson, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (451p) ISBN 978-0-453-00546-3
Willenson calls it ""the lasting impressions of some interesting people who lived the event.'' A collection of interviews conducted by Newsweek in 1985 and 1986, this is not so much about how the war was fought as how it got started, how it was mishandled in Washington and Saigon, and how it has influenced foreign policy in the years since. Interviewees include senators William Fullbright and Eugene McCarthy, defense secretary Clark Clifford, national security adviser Walt Rostow, pacification chief Robert Komer and prime minister Nguyen Cao Ky, as well as CIA operatives, grunts, prisoners of war, journalists, draft-evaders (both American and Vietnamese), antiwar activists and various others. The spectrum of opinion is wide, and the speakers seem to hold nothing back. Bobby Muller (crippled ex-Marine and veterans'-rights activist): ``I hate the Marine Corps. It is a stupid branch of the service. It should be eliminated.'' Joan Baez: ``I would not retract anything I did in the sixties.'' Robert Komer: ``There is one thing on which I am very clear, and that is that the loss of strategic real estate that was Indochina had only a very modest impact on our global geostrategic position.'' William Fulbright: ``The country didn't learn a damn thing from it.'' (June 29)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-452-26361-1
Paperback - 978-0-452-26063-4
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