Abandoning Vietnam : how America left and South Vietnam lost its war /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Willbanks, James H., 1947-
Imprint:Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2004.
Description:xi, 377 p., [14] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Language:English
Series:Modern war studies
Subject:Vietnam War (1961-1975)
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United States.
United States.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/5210740
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0700613315 (alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. 289-362) and index.
Review by Choice Review

Combining a wide range of sources, from archival documents and public records to memoirs and diaries, Willbanks (US Army Command and General Staff College) presents the first comprehensive history of "Vietnamization" from its inception through its implementation to its final demise. He argues that the program's failure was a major reason for the quick collapse of the Saigon government in early 1975. Vietnamization was begun too late, was built on the US model of massive firepower, and could never adjust to the absence of US artillery and air support after the Americans withdrew in January 1973. Moreover, the US never dealt with inherent flaws in South Vietnam, e.g., corruption in both the military and society as well as the dearth of leadership at all command levels. The latter resulted from President Thieu's appointment of general officers based on political loyalty to him rather than military competence. A secondary theme is Nixon's attempt to juggle Vietnamization, withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam, and negotiation of a "just and honorable" peace. Numerous maps and tables enhance the text. A must read for those interested in the Vietnam War. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above. W. T. Lindley Union University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

The word Vietnam continues to stir up emotions for an entire generation. Willbanks (Combat Studies Inst., Fort Leavenworth, KS), a former army infantry officer, argues that the U.S. government abandoned Vietnam without winning the fight or adequately preparing the South Vietnamese to win on their own. He outlines American actions from the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 to the final fall of Saigon in 1975 and holds that Nixon's Vietnamization program was too little, too late. What in the mid-1960s had been a strategic fight in the war against communism was by the mid-1970s a nightmare Americans hoped to forget. Since Vietnam, the United States has avoided protracted conflict until the recent invasion of Iraq, where comparisons to our Vietnam experience will only intensify as the United States tries to turn the political, police, and military functions over to the Iraqis. For its detailed analysis based on extensive primary and secondary sources, Abandoning Vietnam is suitable for academic and military libraries.-Charles M. Minyard (ret.), U.S. Army, Blountstown, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Choice Review


Review by Library Journal Review