America's Miracle Man in Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race, and U. S. Intervention in Southeast Asia, 1950-1957

ISBN-10: 0822334402

ISBN-13: 9780822334408

Edition: 2004

List price: $28.95
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As a crucial prerequisite to the incremental steps that led to the devastation and defeat of the Vietnam War, America's support for Ngo Dinh Diem as the head of South Vietnam from the mid-1950s into the early 1960s proved to be catastrophic. Exploring the rationale for this extraordinarily consequential Cold War policy, Seth Jacobs adds a new layer of complexity to histories attributing the commitment to Diem to anticommunism and a lack of other viable candidates. Jacobs argues that senior U.S. policymakers' support for Diem grew out of the unprecedented religious revival of the 1950s and the almost complete lack of detailed knowledge about the Far East. He contends that only by taking American religious fervour into account can historians explain why the Eisenhower administration allied with Diem, a devout Catholic, in a nation almost ninety percent Buddhist. A diplomatic and cultural history, America's Miracle Man in Vietnam draws on government archives, presidential libraries, private papers, movies, and television and radio broadcasts. Jacobs shows in detail how, in the 1950s, U.S. policymakers conceived of the Cold War as a crusade in which Americans needed to combine with fellow Judeo-Christians against an adversary dangerous as much for its atheism as for its military might. He describes how racist assumptions that Asians were culturally unready for democratic self-government predisposed Americans to excuse Diem's dictatorship as necessary in "the Orient." By focusing attention on the role of American religious and racial discourses, America's Miracle Man in Vietnam provides a necessary corrective to understandings of America's disastrous commitment to "sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem."
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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 1/27/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Seth Jacobs is Associate Professor of History at Boston College. He is the author of Cold War Mandarin and America's Miracle Man in Vietnam .

Emily Rosenberg specializes in U.S. foreign relations in the twentieth century and is the author of SPREADING THE AMERICAN DREAM: AMERICAN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL EXPANSION, 1890-1945 (1982); FINANCIAL MISSIONARIES TO THE WORLD: THE POLITICS AND CULTURE OF DOLLAR DIPLOMACY (1999), which won the Ferrell Book Award; A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE: PEARL HARBOR IN AMERICAN MEMORY (2004); and TRANSNATIONAL CURRENTS IN A SHRINKING WORLD, 1870-1945 (2014). Her other publications include (with Norman L. Rosenberg) IN OUR TIMES: AMERICA SINCE 1945, Seventh Edition (2003), and numerous articles dealing with foreign relations in the context of international finance, American culture, and gender ideology. She has served on the board of the Organization of American Historians, on the board of editors of the American Historical Review, and as president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

"Colonialism, Communism, or Catholicism?": Mr. Diem Goes to Washington
"Our System Demands the Supreme Being": America's Third Great Awakening
"These People Aren't Complicated": America's "Asia" at Midcentury
"Christ Crucified in Indo-China": Tom Dooley and the North Vietnamese Refugees
"The Sects and the Gangs Mean to Get Rid of the Saint": "Lightning Joe" Collins and the Battle for Saigon
"This God-Fearing Anti-Communist": The Vietnam Lobby and the Selling of Ngo Dinh Diem
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