Tag: Vietnam

For Reasons of State by Noam Chomsky

The first four chapters of this book deal with the perceived immorality and injustice of the Vietnam War. By now I am so used to Chomsky’s blame-America-first arguments that I tend to be dismissive of them, but his indictments in this book do make me stop and think. The rest of this book consists of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/05/12/for-reasons-of-state-by-noam-chomsky/

The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman

Tuchman’s thesis is that governments frequently, through sheer obstinacy and stupidity, do things that are injurious to their own interests. She cites four primary historical examples: the Trojans in the Trojan War, the papacy preceding the Reformation, the British government during the American Revolution, and the government of the United States during the Vietnam War. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2012/06/18/the-march-of-folly-by-barbara-tuchman/

A Better War by Lewis Sorley

Every now and then you get a revisionist account of Vietnam that argues that the U.S. military knew what it was doing and could have won the war if not for the hippies, the journalists, and the politicians. Sorley makes a decent case that the war under the command of General Creighton Abrams was not …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2012/05/18/a-better-war-by-lewis-sorley/

Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow

Considered to be the definitive book on the Vietnam War. I had read this book many years ago, but I’m glad that taking the Vietnam War course at LSU forced me to reread it. Despite my professor’s hawkish pronouncements, after rereading this book I don’t see any way we could have won in Vietnam, short …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2010/12/22/vietnam-a-history-by-stanley-karnow/

Four Hours in My Lai by Michael Bilton

My instructor assigned this book, but he mostly glossed over it in class. This is not a book to gloss over. The professor sees My Lai as an aberration, an exceptional case, but I think the lesson to take home from it is that under the right circumstances even decent and honorable people can become …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2010/11/11/four-hours-in-my-lai-by-michael-bilton/