cover image Valley Decision

Valley Decision

John Prados / Author, Ray W. Stubbe / With Houghton Mifflin Ha

The battle for the American combat base called Khe Sanh, in the northernmost province of South Vietnam, is one of the more coherent and fathomable developments in the bewildering complications of the Vietnam War. Here is the definitive history of Khe Sanh, built on interviews, documentary research and the personal experiences of one of the authors. Early French plantations, the Viet Minh, the Bru tribespeople, geology, wildlife and many other aspects of one of Asia's most interesting regions are described. The authors explain why the American military came to Khe Sanh and remained there for six years despite North Vietnamese efforts to drive them out. Most of the narrative deals with the siege, but Stubbe, chaplain to Marines at the Khe Sanh, and Prados ( Keeper of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council from Truman to Bush ) also dramatize relevant discussions at the White House, the Pentagon and U.S. military headquarters in Saigon. The book also analyzes the deep commitment of the North Vietnamese to the siege. Photos. (Nov.)