Embers of War The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam

ISBN-10: 0375504427

ISBN-13: 9780375504426

Edition: 2012

Authors: Fredrik Logevall

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Description:

The struggle for Vietnam occupies a central place in the history of the twentieth century. Fought over a period of three decades, the conflict drew in all the world’s powers and saw two of them—first France, then the United States—attempt to subdue the revolutionary Vietnamese forces. For France, the defeat marked the effective end of her colonial empire, while for America the war left a gaping wound in the body politic that remains open to this day. How did it happen? Tapping into newly accessible diplomatic archives in several nations and making full use of the published literature, distinguished scholar Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two Western nations to lose their way in Vietnam.Twilight Waropens in 1919 at the Versailles Peace Conference, where a young Ho Chi Minh delivers a petition for Vietnamese independence to President Woodrow Wilson. It concludes in 1959, with a Viet Cong ambush on a U.S. outpost outside Saigon and the deaths of two American officers whose names would be the first to be carved into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In between come years of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation, as leaders on all sides embark on a series of stumbles that makes an eminently avoidable struggle a bloody and interminable reality. Logevall takes us inside the councils of war—and gives us a seat at the conference tables where peace talks founder. He brings to life the bloodiest battles of France’s final years in Indochina—and shows how from an early point, a succession of American leaders made disastrous policy choices that put America on its own collision course with history: Harry Truman’s fateful decision to reverse Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policy and acknowledge France’s right to return to Indochina after World War II; Dwight Eisenhower’s strenuous efforts to keep Paris in the fight and his escalation of U.S. involvement in the aftermath of the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; and the curious turnaround in Senator John F. Kennedy’s thinking that would lead him as president to expand that commitment, despite his publicly stated misgivings about Western intervention in Southeast Asia. An epic story of wasted opportunities and tragic miscalculations, featuring an extraordinary cast of larger-than-life characters,Twilight Wardelves deep into the historical record to provide hard answers to the unanswered questions surrounding the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the arrival of another. This book will become the definitive chronicle of the struggle’s origins for years to come.
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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/21/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 864
Size: 6.75" wide x 10.25" long x 2.00" tall
Weight: 2.970
Language: English

Fredrik Logevall is Professor of History at Cornell University.

Preface
Prologue: A Vietnamese in Paris
Liberations, 1940-1945
"The Empire Is with Us!"
The Anti-Imperialist
Crossroads
"All Men Are Created Equal"
Colonial Struggle, 1946-1949
The Warrior Monk
The Spark
War Without Fronts
"If I Accepted These Terms I'd Be a Coward"
East Meets West, 1949-1953
"The Center of the Cold War"
Attack on the RC4
King Jean
The Quiet Englishman
The Turning Point That Didn't Turn
Eisenhower in Charge
Navarre's American Plan
The Cauldron, 1953-1954
Arena of the Gods
"We Have the Impression They Are Going to Attack Tonight"
"Vietnam Is a Part of the World"
America Wants In
Dulles Versus Eden
Valley of Tears
Peace of a Kind, 1954
With Friends Like These
"We Must Go Fast"
"I Have Seen Destiny Bend to That Will"
Seizing the Torch, 1954-1959
"We Have No Other Choice but to Win Here"
Miracle Man
Things Fall Apart
Epilogue: Different Dreams, Same Footsteps
Acknowledgments
Notes
Further Reading
Photo Credits
Index
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