Backfire A History of How American Culture Led Us into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did

ISBN-10: 0801859530

ISBN-13: 9780801859533

Edition: 1998 (Reprint)

Authors: Loren Baritz

List price: $29.00 Buy it from $3.00
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"The first full-length and scholarly account of why we got into Vietnam in the first place, why we fought as barbarously as the Japanese in Manchuria or the Germans in Poland, and why we deserved to lose it -- indeed why we did have to lose it if we were to find any kind of ultimate peace." -- Henry Steele Commager, Amherst College "A provocative and informative book written in the easy style of a seasoned teacher. One must wonder what might have been had Backfire been written two decades earlier." -- Paul Bucha, Medal of Honor, Vietnam "This remarkable book provides a way of looking at the Vietnam War that is both intellectually complex and extremely moving." -- Susan Sontag In a probing look at the myths of American culture that led us into the Vietnam quagmire, Loren Baritz exposes our national illusions: the conviction of our moral supremacy, our assumption that Americans are more idealistic than other people, and our faith in a technology that supposedly makes us invincible. He also reveals how Vietnam changed American culture today, from the successes and failures of the Washington bureaucracy to the destruction of the traditional military code of honor. "Baritz reminds us of how confident we were in America's invincibility during those pre-Vietnam War days. He looks closely into 'the invention of South Vietnam' during the Kennedy years, and he examines the body counting war at home--the bureaucratic and psychological effort to convince ourselves that we were winning, and would surely win. Backfire reveals brilliantly why the lessons of Vietnam are so difficult to learn," -- Martin J. Sherwin, History Book Club
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Book details

List price: $29.00
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 6/3/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

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