The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 0871409437

Category: History

Page: 784

View: 9973

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War. In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908– 1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a “hearts and mind” diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America’s giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to neverbefore-seen documents—including long-hidden love letters—Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish “T. E. Lawrence of Asia” from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975. Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called “ugly American,” this “engrossing biography” (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.

The Road Not Taken

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: Head of Zeus Ltd

ISBN: 1788542665

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 784

View: 1006

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In this biography of Edward Lansdale (1908-1987), the man said to be the model for Greene's The Quiet American, Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a 'hearts and minds' diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America's giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals who favoured napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to never-before-seen documents, Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of Lansdale from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evaculation in 1975. Boot rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to resonate, this is a biography of profound historical consequence.

Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0871403501

Category: History

Page: 784

View: 9342

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“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.”—John Nagl, Wall Street Journal Invisible Armies presents an entirely original narrative of warfare, which demonstrates that, far from the exception, loosely organized partisan or guerrilla warfare has been the dominant form of military conflict throughout history. New York Times best-selling author and military historian Max Boot traces guerrilla warfare and terrorism from antiquity to the present, narrating nearly thirty centuries of unconventional military conflicts. Filled with dramatic analysis of strategy and tactics, as well as many memorable characters—from Italian nationalist Guiseppe Garibaldi to the “Quiet American,” Edward Lansdale—Invisible Armies is “as readable as a novel” (Michael Korda, Daily Beast) and “a timely reminder to politicians and generals of the hard-earned lessons of history” (Economist).

Edward Lansdale's Cold War

Author: Jonathan Nashel

Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press

ISBN: 9781558494640

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 278

View: 3855

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The man widely believed to have been the model for Alden Pyle in Graham Greene's The Quiet American, Edward G. Lansdale (1908-1987) was a Cold War celebrity. A former advertising executive turned undercover CIA agent, he was credited during the 1950s with almost single-handedly preventing a communist takeover of the Philippines and with helping to install Ngo Dinh Diem as president of the American-backed government of South Vietnam. Adding to his notoriety, during the Kennedy administration Lansdale was put in charge of Operation Mongoose, the covert plot to overthrow the government of Cuba's Fidel Castro by assassination or other means. In this book, Jonathan Nashel reexamines Lansdale's role as an agent of American Cold War foreign policy and takes into account both his actual activities and the myths that grew to surround him. In contrast to previous portraits, which tend to depict Lansdale either as the incarnation of U.S. imperialist ambitions or as a farsighted patriot dedicated to the spread of democracy abroad, Nashel offers a more complex and nuanced interpretation. At times we see Lansdale as the arrogant "ugly American," full of confidence that he has every right to make the world in his own image and utterly blind to his own cultural condescension. This is the Lansdale who would use any conceivable gimmick to serve U.S. aims, from rigging elections to sugaring communist gas tanks. Elsewhere, however, he seems genuinely respectful of the cultures he encounters, open to differences and new possibilities, and willing to tailor American interests to Third World needs. Rather than attempting to reconcile these apparently contradictory images of Lansdale, Nashel explores the ways in which they reflected a broader tension within the culture of Cold War America. The result is less a conventional biography than an analysis of the world in which Lansdale operated and the particular historical forces that shaped him--from the imperatives of anticommunist ideology and the assumptions of modernization theory to the techniques of advertising and the insights of anthropology.

A Bright Shining Lie

John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam

Author: Neil Sheehan

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780679603801

Category: History

Page: 896

View: 7208

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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans. Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won. A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam–a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war. From the Hardcover edition.

Misalliance

Author: Edward Miller

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674075323

Category: History

Page: 428

View: 1241

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Diem’s alliance with Washington has long been seen as a Cold War relationship gone bad, undone by either American arrogance or Diem’s stubbornness. Edward Miller argues that this misalliance was more than just a joint effort to contain communism. It was also a means for each side to shrewdly pursue its plans for nation building in South Vietnam.

RAND in Southeast Asia

A History of the Vietnam War Era

Author: Mai Elliott

Publisher: Rand Corporation

ISBN: 0833049151

Category: History

Page: 694

View: 532

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This volume chronicles RAND's involvement in researching insurgency and counterinsurgency in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand during the Vietnam War era and assesses the effect that this research had on U.S. officials and policies. Elliott draws on interviews with former RAND staff and the many studies that RAND produced on these topics to provide a narrative that captures the tenor of the times and conveys the attitudes and thinking of those involved.

Dragon Ascending

Vietnam and the Vietnamese

Author: Henry Kamn

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1611456274

Category: History

Page: 330

View: 557

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A firsthand report on contemporary Vietnam presents a portrait of a nation that is struggling under the hold of Communism and places the Vietnam war in the perspective of a four-thousand-year-old history.

The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631495682

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 8969

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Warning that the Trump presidency presages America’s decline, the political commentator recounts his extraordinary journey from lifelong Republican to vehement Trump opponent. As nativism, xenophobia, vile racism, and assaults on the rule of law threaten the very fabric of our nation, The Corrosion of Conservatism presents an urgent defense of American democracy. Pronouncing Mexican immigrants to be “rapists,” Donald Trump announced his 2015 presidential bid, causing Max Boot to think he was watching a dystopian science-fiction movie. The respected conservative historian couldn’t fathom that the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan could endorse such an unqualified reality-TV star. Yet the Twilight Zone episode that Boot believed he was watching created an ideological dislocation so shattering that Boot’s transformation from Republican foreign policy adviser to celebrated anti-Trump columnist becomes the dramatic story of The Corrosion of Conservatism. No longer a Republican, but also not a Democrat, Boot here records his ideological journey from a “movement” conservative to a man without a party, beginning with his political coming-of-age as a young émigré from the Soviet Union, enthralled with the National Review and the conservative intellectual tradition of Russell Kirk and F. A. Hayek. Against this personal odyssey, Boot simultaneously traces the evolution of modern American conservatism, jump-started by Barry Goldwater’s canonical The Conscience of a Conservative, to the rise of Trumpism and its gradual corrosion of what was once the Republican Party. While 90 percent of his fellow Republicans became political “toadies” in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Boot stood his ground, enduring the vitriol of his erstwhile conservative colleagues, trolled on Twitter by a white supremacist who depicted his “execution” in a gas chamber by a smiling, Nazi-clad Trump. And yet, Boot nevertheless remains a villain to some partisan circles for his enduring commitment to conservative fiscal and national security principles. It is from this isolated position, then, that Boot launches this bold declaration of dissent and its urgent plea for true, bipartisan cooperation. With uncompromising insights, The Corrosion of Conservatism evokes both a president who has traduced every norm and the rise of a nascent centrist movement to counter Trump’s assault on democracy.

The Ugly American

Author: William J. Lederer,Eugene Burdick

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393318678

Category: Fiction

Page: 285

View: 8180

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The ineffectual Ambassador is just one of the handicaps facing the Americans as Southeast Asia becomes increasingly involved with Communism

Why Vietnam Matters

An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned

Author: Rufus Phillips

Publisher: Naval Inst Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 398

View: 5481

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Rufus Phillips gives an extraordinary inside history of the most critical years of American involvement in Vietnam. Describing what went right and then wrong, he argues that the U.S. missed an opportunity to help the South Vietnamese develop a political cause as compelling as that of the Communists by following a big war strategy based on World War II perceptions.

War Made New

Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101216832

Category: History

Page: 640

View: 9339

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A monumental, groundbreaking work, now in paperback, that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four ?revolutions? in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes have remade the field of battle?and shaped the rise and fall of empires. War Made New begins with the Gunpowder Revolution and explains warfare?s evolution from ritualistic, drawn-out engagements to much deadlier events, precipitating the rise of the modern nation-state. He next explores the triumph of steel and steam during the Industrial Revolution, showing how it powered the spread of European colonial empires. Moving into the twentieth century and the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot examines three critical clashes of World War II to illustrate how new technology such as the tank, radio, and airplane ushered in terrifying new forms of warfare and the rise of centralized, and even totalitarian, world powers. Finally, Boot focuses on the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq War?arguing that even as cutting-edge technologies have made America the greatest military power in world history, advanced communications systems have allowed decentralized, ?irregular? forces to become an increasingly significant threat.

The Savage Wars Of Peace

Small Wars And The Rise Of American Power

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465038662

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 8264

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America's "small wars," "imperial wars," or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts," have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power. Beginning with Jefferson's expedition against the Barbary Pirates, Max Boot tells the exciting stories of our sometimes minor but often bloody landings in Samoa, the Philippines, China, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere. Along the way he sketches colorful portraits of little-known military heroes such as Stephen Decatur, "Fighting Fred" Funston, and Smedley Butler. From 1800 to the present day, such undeclared wars have made up the vast majority of our military engagements. Yet the military has often resisted preparing itself for small wars, preferring instead to train for big conflicts that seldom come. Boot re-examines the tragedy of Vietnam through a "small war" prism. He concludes with a devastating critique of the Powell Doctrine and a convincing argument that the armed forces must reorient themselves to better handle small-war missions, because such clashes are an inevitable result of America's far-flung imperial responsibilities.

Out of Order

Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench

Author: Max Boot

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 252

View: 7413

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Citing real cases, the author explores how leniency has led the justice system to its current state where abuses of the legal process result in less protection for victims and more rights for the accused

Edward Lansdale

The Unquiet American

Author: Cecil B. Currey

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 430

View: 3470

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Slow Burn

Author: Orrin DeForest,David Chanoff

Publisher: Pocket

ISBN: 9780671739973

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 7016

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In Vietnam, Orrin DeForest was a legendary CIA man who put together an unmatched network of spies, counterspies, defectors, and informants to penetrate the inner workings of the Vietcong. This fascinating account exposes the American intelligence establishment's shocking failures in Southeast Asia, and more. "Hard-hitting memoirs from an American spymaster".--Kirkus.

Sons of Freedom

The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I

Author: Geoffrey Wawro

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093922

Category: History

Page: 640

View: 9034

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The definitive history of America's decisive role in World War I The American contribution to World War I is one of the great stories of the twentieth century, and yet it has all but vanished from view. Historians have dismissed the American war effort as largely economic and symbolic. But as Geoffrey Wawro shows in Sons of Freedom, the French and British were on the verge of collapse in 1918, and would have lost the war without the Doughboys. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, described the Allied victory as a "miracle"--but it was a distinctly American miracle. In Sons of Freedom, prize-winning historian Geoffrey Wawro weaves together in thrilling detail the battles, strategic deliberations, and dreadful human cost of the American war effort. A major revision of the history of World War I, Sons of Freedom resurrects the brave heroes who saved the Allies, defeated Germany, and established the United States as the greatest of the great powers.

Vietnam Declassified

The CIA and Counterinsurgency

Author: Thomas L. Ahern, Jr.

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813139333

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 1537

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Vietnam Declassified is a detailed account of the CIA's effort to help South Vietnamese authorities win the loyalty of the Vietnamese peasantry and suppress the Viet Cong. Covering the CIA engagement from 1954 to mid-1972, it provides a thorough analysis of the agency and its partners. Retired CIA operative and intelligence consultant Thomas L. Ahern Jr. is the first to comprehensively document the CIA's role in the rural pacification of South Vietnam, drawing from secret archives to which he had unrestricted access. In addition to a chronology of operations, the book explores the assumptions, political values, and cultural outlooks of not only the CIA and other U.S. government agencies, but also of the peasants, Viet Cong, and Saigon government forces competing for their loyalty. The depth of Ahern's research combined with the timely relevance of his analysis to current events in the Middle East makes this title an important addition to military literature.