Inventing Vietnam The United States and State Building in Southeast Asia, 1954-1968

ISBN-10: 052171690X

ISBN-13: 9780521716901

Edition: 2008

Authors: James M. Carter

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This book considers the Vietnam war in light of U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam, concluding that the war was a direct result of failed state-building efforts. This U.S. nation building project began in the mid-1950s with the ambitious goal of creating a new independent, democratic, modern state below the 17th parallel. No one involved imagined this effort would lead to a major and devastating war in less than a decade. Carter analyzes how the United States ended up fighting a large-scale war that wrecked the countryside, generated a flood of refugees, and brought about catastrophic economic distortions, results which actually further undermined the larger U.S. goal of building a viable state. Carter argues that, well before the Tet Offensive shocked the viewing public in late January, 1968, the campaign in southern Vietnam had completely failed and furthermore, the program contained the seeds of its own failure from the outset.
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Book details

List price: $30.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 4/14/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 276
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

James M. Carter obtained his PhD from the University of Houston in 2004 and is currently Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. His research specialties include U.S. foreign relations, the Vietnam War and the Cold War. His publications include several articles on nation building in Vietnam and private contractors in both Vietnam and Iraq as well as book reviews in Itinerario, The Journal of Military History, Education About Asia, and on H-Diplo. In summer, 2007, he was appointed a Fellow of the Summer Military History Seminar at West Point Military Academy.

Introduction: Inventing Vietnam
The Cold War, Colonialism, and the Origins of the American Commitment to Vietnam, 1945-1954
The End of Colonialism, the Cold War, and Vietnam
Making the World Safe through Development
Intellectuals, Modernization, and the Third World
The State of Vietnam: History, Geography, and Imperialism
Inventing Vietnam: The United States and State Building
"The Needs Are Enormous, the Time Short": Michigan State University, the U.S. Operations Mission, State Building, and Vietnam
Collective Security and Crafting Consensus
"The Needs Are Enormous, the Time Short": Michigan State University in Vietnam
Surviving the Crises: Southern Vietnam, 1958-1960
The American Mission and Building Vietnam
Inventing Vietnam and the Politics of Aid
My-Diem and the Rise of the Insurgency
"A Permanent Mendicant": Southern Vietnam, 1960-1963
Southern Vietnam in the Decade of Development
Counterinsurgency, Strategic Hamlets, and the Militarization of U.S. Policy
The Political Economy of State Building
Conclusion: Political Collapse and the Fall of Diem
A Period of Shakedown: Southern Vietnam, 1963-1965
"Stable Government or No Stable Government": Rescuing Southern Vietnam from the Vietnamese
"The Construction Miracle of the Decade": The Military Buildup and Inventing Vietnam
"The Works of Peace": The Mekong Delta and the Politics of War
"Long Since ... Dependent on U.S. Aid"
The Paradox of Construction and Destruction: Southern Vietnam, 1966-1968
"RMK-BRJ Is Changing the Face of South Viet Nam"
"Not Much More Than a Drop in the Bucket": Refugees, Pacification, and the "Other War" in Southern Vietnam
"A National Symphony of Theft, Corruption, and Bribery"
Epilogue: War, Politics, and the End in Vietnam
The Tet Offensive
Leaving Vietnam Undone
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