America in Vietnam (Magill's Literary Annual 1979)
Perhaps one of the historian’s most difficult tasks is to devote his attention to history which has recently ceased being current events. To address a very inflammatory issue still hotly debated makes an attempt at the definitive study almost impossible. Yet, Guenter Lewy boldly presents what his publisher calls “the first systematic analysis of the course of the war, American strategy and tactics, the travail of Vietnamization, and the causes of the final collapse of Vietnam.” In justification of this claim, political scientist Guenter Lewy informs the reader in his preface that he is the first scholar to make use of classified defense information which had been unavailable until the passage of President Nixon’s Executive Order 11652, of March 8, 1972, granting access to qualified researchers. Lewy’s use of these documents as well as virtually every important book on the subject is attested by over fifty pages of footnotes to the eleven chapters, epilogue, and appendices which make up this book. The lack of a bibliography detracts only slightly from his scholarship.
The book is neatly divided into two major sections: the first six chapters detail the course of America’s involvement in the conflict; chapters seven through eleven attempt to analyze the legality of this involvement. Lewy’s analysis of the history of American involvement is certainly less controversial than those chapters which attempt to assuage the sense of guilt still...
(The entire section is 2232 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1979)
Christian Century. XCVI, January 24, 1979, p. 83.
Commonweal. CVI, February 2, 1979, p. 54.
Kirkus Reviews. XLVI, September 1, 1978, p. 991.
Library Journal. CIII, September 1, 1978, p. 1642.
New York Review of Books. XXV, December 7, 1978, p. 19.
(The entire section is 27 words.)