A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

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HMH, Jun 3, 1999 - History - 528 pages
“A comprehensive and long-overdue examination of the immediate post–Tet offensive years [from a] first-rate historian.” —The New York Times Book Review
Neglected by scholars and journalists alike, the years of conflict in Vietnam from 1968 to 1975 offer surprises not only about how the war was fought, but about what was achieved. Drawing from thousands of hours of previously unavailable (and still classified) tape-recorded meetings between the highest levels of the American military command in Vietnam, A Better War is an insightful, factual, and superbly documented history of these final years. Through his exclusive access to authoritative materials, award-winning historian Lewis Sorley highlights the dramatic differences in conception, conduct, and—at least for a time—results between the early and later years of the war. Among his most important findings is that while the war was being lost at the peace table and in the U.S. Congress, the soldiers were winning on the ground. Meticulously researched and movingly told, A Better War sheds new light on the Vietnam War.

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User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

Lewis Sorley is graduate of West Point with a doctorate in history from Johns Hopkins University and an American intelligence strategist and military historian. In A Better War, he argues that the ... Read full review

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User Review  - poreilly - LibraryThing

A profound, masterful, and unique history of the Ameican military's efforts in the Vietnam War during the period after the Tet Offensive in 1968, when General Abrams replaced General Westmoreland as ... Read full review


1 Inheritance
2 New Tactics
3 Third Offensive
4 Intelligence
5 Pacification
6 Interdiction
7 Tet 1969
8 Drawdown
15 Lam Son 719
16 Aftermath
17 Elections
18 Soldiers
19 Anticipation
20 Easter Offensive
21 Transition
22 CeaseFire

9 Higher Hurdles
10 Resolution 9
11 Leaders
12 Cambodia
13 Victory
14 Toward Laos
23 Final Days
Back Matter
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About the author (1999)

Lewis Sorley is a third-generation graduate of the United States Military Academy who also holds a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University. He served in Vietnam, and in the Pentagon in the offices of Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger and Army Chief of Staff General William C. Westmoreland. He also taught at West Point and the Army War College. He is the author of five highly-regarded works of military history.

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