Lost Victory: A Firsthand Account of America's Sixteen-Year Involvement in Vietnam

William Colby, Author McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $22.95 (438p) ISBN 978-0-8092-4509-3
Not another book about what America did wrong in Vietnam, this one is, primarily, about what we did right. For example, former CIA director Colby and diplomat McCargar maintain that the post-Tet pacification effort (in which Colby was centrally involved) was a great success, that the 1972 Easter Offensive demonstrated that the South Vietnamese could hold their own without U.S. ground support. In staunch defense of Colby's Phoenix program, the book argues for its effectiveness in undermining the Communist infrastructure, claiming that Phoenix's reputation for brutality is undeserved. Fighting the ``wrong'' kind of war, however, is cited as a mistake, as is U.S. complicity in the '63 coup that overthrew President Ngo Dinh Diem, and Washington's failure to provide aid at a certain juncture in '75. Colby's CIA service, from Saigon station chief to director, provides him with an insider's perspective on the war, a perspective many readers will consider self-serving. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-8092-4076-0
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