Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954–1965

Mark Moyar, Author . Cambridge Univ. $30 (512p) ISBN 978-0-521-86911-9

A full-blooded member of what he calls the "revisionist school" of Vietnam War historians, Moyar firmly believes that America's longest and most controversial overseas war was "a worthy but improperly executed enterprise." His fiercely argued book, which covers the early years of American involvement in the war, is an unabated salvo against what he calls the "orthodox school" that sees American involvement in the war as "wrongheaded and unjust." The main villains are former Vietnam War correspondents David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan; former U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge; and just about anyone else who had bad things to say about South Vietnamese premier Ngo Dinh Diem and good things to say about Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Though Moyar marshals many primary sources to buttress his political point of view, he undermines his argument by disparaging those he disagrees with (calling Sheehan and Halberstam, for example, "indignant," "vengeful," and "self-righteous"). He also showers praise on those who backed Diem, the autocratic leader who stifled the press and his political opponents. Revisionists will embrace the book; the orthodox will see it as more evidence of a vast, right-wing conspiracy. (Oct. 1)

Reviewed on: 07/17/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-521-75763-8
Ebook - 552 pages - 978-0-511-24356-1
Ebook - 978-0-511-51164-6
Open Ebook - 550 pages - 978-0-511-24722-4
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