Vietnam : an epic tragedy : 1945-1975 / Max Hastings.
"Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researchin...
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"Vietnam became the Western world's most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh's warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas. No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings' readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record."--Publisher description.
xxx, 722 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
In addition to presenting BBC historical documentaries and writing numerous books of military history, Hastings has contributed to publications including the Daily Mail, The Guardian, and the New York Review of Books. He received the nonfiction Somerset Maugham Award for Bomber Command, as well as the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Prize for both Overlord and The Battle for the Falklands. His title Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013. The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945 was published in 2016 and is also on the New York Times Bestsellers List.
Hastings was knighted in 2002, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and from 2002-2007 was President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
(Bowker Author Biography)