The Real History of the Vietnam War: A New Look at the Past

Alan Axelrod. Sterling, $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4027-9025-6
The prolific Axelrod (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) has authored numerous histories of American wars, including the Revolution, the Civil War, and WWII. His latest—an accessible book filled with facts and statistics (albeit without attribution)—resembles a 21st-century textbook with its snappy chapter introductions in magazinelike large type, subhead-studded text, and plenty of photographs, sidebars, maps, and pull quotes. This is not necessarily a bad thing. While focusing on military operations, tactics, and strategy, the book covers virtually every important aspect of the war, including its political and geopolitical dimensions, and it contains a balanced mixture of fact and analysis. Axelrod concludes that the war was mishandled by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations; it was a war, he writes, “with objectives that were not only limited but also highly questionable, often morally repugnant, and finally tragic, a war that never seemed ‘real.’ ” This is a perfect supplement to a class on the conflict, or for those searching for a concise one-volume look at the American war in Vietnam, including its repercussions in the present day. Photos, maps, & illus. Agent: Edward B. Claflin Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/18/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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