The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam

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Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000 - Fiction - 523 pages
In this groundbreaking book, James William Gibson shatters the misled assumptions behind both liberal and conservative explanations for America's failure in Vietnam. Gibson shows how American government and military officials developed a disturbingly limited concept of war -- what he calls "technowar" -- in which all efforts were focused on maximizing the enemy's body count, regardless of the means. Consumed by a blind faith in the technology of destruction, American leaders failed to take into account their enemy's highly effective guerrilla tactics. Indeed, technowar proved woefully inapplicable to the actual political and military strategies used by the Vietnamese, and Gibson reveals how U.S. officials consistently falsified military records to preserve the illusion that their approach would prevail. Gibson was one of the first historians to question the fundamental assumptions behind American policy, and The Perfect War is a brilliant reassessment of the war -- now republished with a new introduction by the author.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookmarkaussie - LibraryThing

This is an important book but such a strange one, it tries to reconcile the right and left's views of the Vietnam War. The Author makes concessions to both views while advancing some of his own. The ... Read full review

The perfect war: technowar in Vietnam

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

According to Gibson, Vietnam was a "technowar,'' conceived and waged by U.S. war managers as "a high technology, capital-intensive production process.'' It was neither a mistake nor a problem of ... Read full review


Trailing the Beast
Legacies of Resistance Vietnamese Nationalism against the Chinese and French
The Permanent War Begins 19401954
America Comes to Vietnam Installing the Mechanisms 19541964
Technowar at Ground Level SearchandDestroy as Assembly Line
The Tet Offensive and the Production of a Double Reality
Forced Draft Urbanization and the Consumer Society Come to Vietnam
Pacification War in the Countryside
The Structure of Air Operations
The Redistribution of Air War Laos 19681973
Closing Out the War Cambodia and North Vietnam 19691973
Finding the Light at the End of the Tunnel
Surveying the Wreckage The Limits of Conventional Criticism and the Reproduction of Technowar
The Warriors Knowledge Social Stratification and the Book Corpus of Vietnam

Air War over North Vietnam Bombing as Communication
Structural Dynamics of Escalation in Theory and Practice 19661967

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