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ISBN:0316100811
Author: Thomas D. Boettcher
ISBN13: 978-0316100816
Title: Vietnam
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ePUB size: 1354 kb
FB2 size: 1976 kb
DJVU size: 1484 kb
Language: English
Category: Asia
Publisher: Little, Brown (September 1, 1988)
Pages: 495

Vietnam by Thomas D. Boettcher



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Elizabeth said: The best book on Vietnam I have read yet. Haunting, thought-provoking, and carefully written without. Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. by.

by Thomas D. Publication date 1985. Topics Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 - United States. United States - History - 1945-, Vietnam - History - 20th century. Publisher Little, Brown. Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china.

This book surveys the tragically ill-fated role of the United States in Vietnam from the 1940s on. It bristles with insights into the personalities of the Cold Warriors and New Frontiersmen who planned and executed our opening moves there. It bears poignant witness to the might-have-beens of history. It portrays the military side of the war, on the battlefield and in the operations rooms, as no general history has done to date.

Vietnam: The Valor and the Sorrow by Thomas D. Boettcher documents all aspects of the wars in Vietnam from the French colonial period to the Fall of Saigon in April 1975, including events from the home front in the United States to the front lines in Vietnam. Biographical, Historical. Tom Boettcher is a Vietnam Veteran who was awarded the Bronze star for service there. He is also the author of Truman and the Military, first published by Little, Brown as First Call

4055 Vietnam The Valor and the Sorrow From the home front to the front lines in words and pictures, by Thomas D. Boettcher (read 8 Aug 2005) This is a 1985 book by an Air Force Academy graduate who served in Vietnam in 1968-1969. He covers the whole subject from the 1940s to 1975, and the book has been described as the best popular history yet published on 20th century Vietnam and its fatal allure for France and the US. It has no footnotes and its source notes are in such tiny print as to be almost unreadable. The book is pretty balanced, though definitely dovish.

This book surveys the tragically ill-fated role of the United States in Vietnam from the 1940s on. This book is in depth and offers a definitive study of the history, the causes, the mistakes, and the lessons of Vietnam. The parallels to today are, sadly, remarkable. Dedicated to Robert Norman Norris, friend, Scout Dog Patrol, 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles), whose only return was to Arlington.

This book surveys the tragically ill-fated role of the United States in Vietnam from the 1940s on. It bristles with insights into the personalities of the Cold Warriors and New Frontiersmen who planned and executed our opening moves there. It bears poignant witness to the might-have-beens of history. It portrays the military side of the war, on the battlefield and in the operations rooms, as no general history has done to date.
Reviews: 7
Walianirv
Best book I have seen about the real Vietnam.
Loni
An excellent book that really incorporates the WHOLE war. Far too many people ignore the French colonial beginnings and FDR's dislike of the whole mess. The huge amount of pics is also great (although my book is via Trade & Culture and I think it is a Taiwan ripoff. AVOID). I was born in 1942 and registered with the draft board my first couple weeks of Freshman in college. I was in the Peace Corps from 64-66 and that is when things really heated up. I would have been drafted soon after I returned, but as a teacher I was dropped to 2-A. When the lottery was instituted, my birth date, Sept 14, came up #1. But I was 27 and a teacher. I voted for LBJ in 1964 (from Nigeria), but I worked and marched against him upon my return. Eugene McCarthy was my candidate. A devastating decade for America on so many levels. And we are still paying the price--and not learning the lessons!
Otrytrerl
At the end of World War I countries shed their kings and emperors. At the end of World War II, countries shed their colonies leaving the United States and the Soviet Union attempting to influence nations of the world to enter their sphere of influence. Vietnam was tailor-made for all these forces to converge in one desperate struggle, and Thomas Boettcher takes the reader step-by-step through the whole tragic process of events that would leave a scar on our national psyche.

The first lesson learned and long since forgotten was the arrival of the US Special Forces to teach the South Vietnamese Army. The army never considered learning the culture. Their green berets and round eyes reminded the Vietnamese of a century of French cruelty that destroyed their universal education system and brought them to a level of poverty previously unknown in their history. With the narrow-minded philosophy that communism would have to be confronted anywhere and anytime, the United States was doomed to the following fifteen years.

This book analyzes the history of Vietnam starting with their fierce struggle against the French and their envoy appealing to President Grant to ask him to make their European neighbors leave their 900 year old kingdom. Only no one here ever heard of Vietnam. Americans would hear of it under President John F. Kennedy's who first committed American advisors, and also with President Johnson who was told by Kennedy advisors that leaving Vietnam before victory would be a stain on our national honor. The Joint Chiefs of Staff did or said nothing.

The pictures are vivid reminders of those that filled our daily newspapers and Life and Look magazines. The text is interesting with a number of "by lines" such as the plan to destroy the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu with unmarked American bombers, a plan that was defeated by Senator Johnson from Texas, the advent of the M-16, or the story of Lieutenant Colonel Hambledon who was shot down behind enemy lines and rescued after several days who relayed his movements describing stateside golf coure fairways he had committed to memory, the various types of booby traps, the drugs, the life of the tunnel rats, and the last man drafted before it officially ended. (He was given punitive active duty for failing to anwer several notices, and even though we were already in transition to an all-volunteer force).

There is no better account than this one by Thomas D. Boettcher, a 1967 graduate of the US Air Force Academy. This book is in depth and offers a definitive study of the history, the causes, the mistakes, and the lessons of Vietnam.

The parallels to today are, sadly, remarkable.

Dedicated to Robert Norman Norris, friend, Scout Dog Patrol, 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles), whose only return was to Arlington.
Kearanny
An indispensable book that effectively and efficiently covers the entirety of the Vietnam conflict, from its roots in French colonialism to the aftermath of the war up to, and including, the time of the book's publication (1983). Although Mr. Boettcher provides some very interesting, informative, and moving original material concerning the experiences and insights of some junior officers who actually served in Vietnam, most of the information presented in the book has previously been published in the many books he cites. Each of those works, however long each may be, looks at a fairly limited topic (e.g., Bernard Fall's work on Dien Bien Phu, Hell in a Very Small Place) or time period (e.g., David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest, which focuses primarily on the early to mid-60s). Mr. Boettcher used the best sources available to assemble a coherent picture of the roots, growth, and aftermath of the conflict. The author does an outstanding job of distilling each work to its essence and using it in the way that best contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the issues. Having read a majority of the sources he cites, I was impressed how faithful he was to not only the content of those sources, but also to their context.

Content-wise, the most similar book I have seen is Stanley Karnow's Vietnam. One of the biggest differences between the two books, however, is Mr. Boettcher's extensive use of photo illustrations and sidebars. These devices make the book more accessible to those who have not read extensively on the matter. But the extra material is not there merely for entertainment or diversion, it serves like highly informative and readable footnotes. The sidebars add another layer to the story and the author's judicious use of photos proves the adage about each picture being worth a thousand words.

Unlike most of the other prominent historians of the war, the author has a rare perspective, having served in Vietnam as a young air force officer during 1968 and 1969. At the hands of another writer, that background could have been a constraint, turning the book into a love song to himself or a hate letter to those he felt let him down, but Mr. Boettcher is largely invisible throughout the book. My feeling was that Mr. Boettcher did not write this book about himself, but he may have written it for himself. Like many of his generation, he entered a service academy in the early 1960s with the calls to service of JFK ringing in his ears. The world was very different when he reported to Vietnam four years later after much of the U.S. had turned against the war. Rather than the enthusiastic volunteers who had fought in the early years (such as the troopers in LGen Hal Moore's We Were Soldiers Once, and Young), the war was increasingly being fought by conscripts who questioned the Johnson and Nixon administrations' conduct of the war and whose primary focus was understandably on self-preservation. This book goes a long way towards answering questions that veterans such as Mr. Boettcher must have had upon their return, e.g., why were we there, how did we get there, what went wrong, and how can we avoid the same mistakes in the future?

Despite his personal involvement with the conflict, the author never demonstrates any personal agenda. Unlike the approach of others, Mr. Boettcher does not overly demonize or glorify anyone. He demonstrates a notable respect for the parties involved and an understanding of the forces that affected them. The result is an unusually nuanced picture. We are not given a drama of heroes and villains, but a tragedy of generally decent, intelligent, and well-intentioned people making choices that are only clearly bad here in hindsight. In many respects, that is the most unfortunate aspect of the whole matter; based on the people involved, their strongly-held beliefs, the assumptions they made, and the constraints they operated under, it was almost inevitable that events would play out as they did. Hopefully, Mr. Boettcher's book can help us identify when, in the future, we are making similar errors of thought and action.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, regardless whether this is their first or fiftieth book on Vietnam. The book is well-researched and exceedingly well-written. I enjoyed this author's work very much. I read that his other book (on the U.S. military from 1945-53) will soon be republished under the title Harry Truman and the Military: How the Early Cold War Years and Korea Reshaped the U.S. Military, and I look forward to getting a copy of it.
Kegal
i certainly cannot improve on the review done by the man from Camp Lejeune, so be sure to read that review. I have not read Stanley Karnow's book on Vietnam although I found his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book In Our Image, on the Phillipines exceptionally good. My only complaint about this book is that it is hard to read straight through since the sidebars don't end on the same page and so sometimes one is reading a sidebar and when finishing it has to go back and find out where one left on in the main text. But if one wants a balanced view of the conflict--probably more critical of the war than some enthusiasts for it--this is the book to read.