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Indochina and Vietnam : the thirty-five-year war, 1940-1975

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First edition.

"The Indochina and Vietnam Wars followed one another over a thirty-five year span from 1940 to 1975. These two closely related conflicts are usually treated separately, mostly in isolation from one another. This book presents those wars as a single historical event for the student and the informed general reader. The United States began its direct involvement in Indochina in July 1940 within days of France's defeat by Nazi Germany as a reaction to Japan's military expansion into Southeast Asia. Ninety years of French colonial rule in Indochina were suddenly placed in jeopardy under Japanese pressure. The context of the French colonial experience remains the cornerstone to understanding the origins and development of the Indochina War and later on, the American entry into the Vietnamese conflict. Most histories of the war quickly pass over the colonial past, usually limited to the battle of Dien Bien Phu to concentrate exclusively on the American War. This book uses a selection of published sources to explain the context and the development of the long war while providing an overview of France's imprint on Indochina and how it affected the American War in Vietnam. Why were we in Vietnam? Why did half a million American troops, mostly draftees, plunge into the jungles of a remote Asian land? This unique, compact history explicates the rationales for and the implementation of successive policies: Eisenhower's involvement after France leaves Indochina for good in 1954; Kennedy's overt and covert actions culminating in Diem's overthrow in 1963; Johnson's 'Domino Theory' big war commitment that would scar a generation; Nixon's formula of Vietnamization and offensive incursions into Cambodia, strategic bombing offensives into North Vietnam and continued Paris Peace Talks between Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho. INDOCHINA and VIETNAM is an eminently readable overview of the interlocking conflicts in Southeast Asia from 1940 to the heartbreaking scenes of April 1975, when the last helicopters lurched off from the soon to fall United States embassy in Saigon. The Vietnam reader is usually confronted with voluminous texts, most of them over 500 pages long. The authors have attempted to offer as comprehensive yet manageable an account as possible that would include all the major events, incidents and debates that make up the history of the long Vietnam War as the Vietnamese, the French and Americans knew it."--Publisher website.

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Dansville Public Library 959.05 MIL (Text)
Adult Nonfiction

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