Vietnam: A History

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Viking Press, 1983 - History - 752 pages
12 Reviews
Vietnam: A History elucidates the American involvement in Vietnam. The author explains all the political and military events that occurred in Vietnam after the Americans arrived, and he delves deeply into the decision-making process in Washington and Asia. Throughout, Mr. Karnow focuses on people: his book opens with the deaths of the first GIs in Vietnam and it ends with the reminiscence of the Communist officer who accepted the surrender of the South Vietnamese regime in 1975. The pages throng with memorable figures - French, American, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese; diplomats, military commanders, high government officials, Pentagon and CIA analysts; journalists, soldiers, scholars and just plain people: nurses, farmers, workers. These are the people who shaped strategy and who suffered, died or survived as a result.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

Ths book was published in 1983 and is a full history of Vietnam from 1945 to April 1975, when the government we spent so many millions propping up fell. It is a sad story and while my reading was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cwhouston - LibraryThing

This book represents just that - the best single volume history of the war, in my opinion. The first couple of chapters cover the early history of 'Indochina' and French colonialism, and then the rest ... Read full review


The War Nobody Won
Piety and Power
The Heritage of Vietnamese Nationalism

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About the author (1983)

Stanley Karnow was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 4, 1925. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1947. After graduating, he sailed for France intending to spend the summer, but he stayed for a decade. He studied politics at the University of Paris in 1948-1949, and from 1950 to 1957 was a Paris correspondent for Time magazine. He was an Asian correspondent for Time-Life from 1959 to 1962, The London Observer from 1961 to 1965, The Saturday Evening Post from 1963 to 1965 and The Washington Post from 1965 to 1971. He was a diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post in 1971 and 1972, and a special correspondent for NBC and an associate editor of The New Republic from 1973 to 1975. He was a columnist for King Features from 1975 to 1988, wrote for the French newsweekly Le Point from 1976 to 1983 and for Newsweek International from 1977 to 1981. His first book, Southeast Asia, was published in 1962. He also wrote Mao and China: From Revolution to Revolution and Paris in the Fifties. Vietnam: A History was published in 1983 and resulted in a 13-hour PBS documentary entitled Vietnam: A Television History. In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines was published in 1989 and won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for history. It resulted in a three-part PBS documentary entitled The U.S. and the Philippines: In Our Image. He was also a co-author of or contributor to books based on his years in Asia, including Asian-Americans in Transition, Passage to Vietnam, Mekong, and Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War. He died of congestive heart failure on January 27, 2013 at the age of 87.

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