Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited

Front Cover
Andrew A. Wiest
Osprey Publishing, Sep 26, 2006 - History - 336 pages
2 Reviews
From the Introduction
In the end, then, the Vietnam War was a conflict of myriad complexities. It was a colonial war and a regional war. It was a total war and a limited war. It was a civil war, an insurgency and a conventional war - and indeed it varied from one form to another at different times and in different places. It was a war in mountains, jungles or open rice paddies depending on the location of the battlefield. It was a war of high technology and no technology. It was a war of airpower and a war of footpower. It was a helicopter war and a brown-water war. It was a war won on the battlefield and lost on the homefront. One thing that the Vietnam War was not was simply an American War. It was a war of varying and mutable contexts - a chameleon of constant change. The greatest American failure in the conflict was a failure to understand context. For far too many important American planners the Vietnam War had but one context - the black and white context of the Cold War; a context that begged an inexorable singular military logic and solution. A military solution that was so overly simple that it proved to be no solution at all.

¿¿¿¿ The present study takes as its main goal to place the Vietnam War into its proper contexts. Though Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land cannot pretend to answer all of the nagging questions that still surround the conflict, it can at least begin to pose new questions that have too often been left unasked or ignored. Through the work of a unique collection of historians, journalists, and war participants Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land also seeks to spark historical debate and research by searching for new contextual answers to questions that many historians had thought long since answered - sometimes calling for a needed revision of the historical orthodoxy of the conflict. Thus the present study proposes to take fresh looks at several of the most important aspects of the Vietnam War and hopes to demonstrate that the field remains one of the most vibrant and important fields available to future historical inquiry of all types by scholars and laymen alike who seek an opportunity to help define a war of unending complexity.

CHAPTER HEADS An American war? The French experience. The North Vietnamese experience. The Ho Chi Minh Trail. The war outside Vietnam: Cambodia and Laos. The South Vietnamese experience. The civilian experience. Vietnam ANZACs. US doctrinal critique. The US experience. The river war. The air war. Vietnam tactics. Vietnam in the media. The legacy of war.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Rolling Thunder In A Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited

User Review  - Ken Grace - Goodreads

Extremely well written and informative. Very brave in its approach. Ken Read full review

Review: Rolling Thunder In A Gentle Land: The Vietnam War Revisited

User Review  - Goodreads

Extremely well written and informative. Very brave in its approach. Ken Read full review


The French Indochina War
chapters Fight for the Long Haul
The Road South
The War outside Vietnam
A View from the Other Side of the Story
Caught in the Crossfire
The Conduct of the War
On the Ground
Battle for the Mekong
The LivingRoom War

Diggers and Kiwis

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2006)

Dr Andrew Wiest is Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi and is also the founding director of the Center for the Study of War and Society. After attending the University of Southern Mississippi for his undergraduate and masters degrees, Dr Wiest went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1990. Specializing in the study of World War I and Vietnam, he has served as a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Warfighting Strategy in the United States Air Force Air War College. Since 1992 Dr Wiest has been active in international education, developing the award-winning Vietnam Study Abroad Program. A widely published author, Wiest's titles include Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN (New York University), which won the Society for Military History's Distinguished Book Award; America and the Vietnam War (Routledge); Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land (Osprey); and Passchendaele and the Royal Navy (Greenwood Press). Additionally Dr Wiest has appeared in and consulted on several historical documentaries for the History Channel, Granada Television, PBS, the BBC, and for Lucasfilm. Wiest lives in Hattiesburg with his wife Jill and their three children Abigail, Luke and Wyatt. The author lives in Hattiesburg, MS.

Bibliographic information