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Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam

by

Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“In this magnificent book we have another of Sorley’s powerful, authoritative studies, this time the most stunning portrait of General Westmoreland—who he was, how he fought his war, and why. It is a masterful analysis, sure to stand alone and dominate the current and past writing on Vietnam. Himself a soldier, Sorley is sympathetic where he ought to be, but relentless where the whole truth must be known. In the mountains of good and bad considerations of the war, Sorley has given us something we did not have: a deep understanding of this most complex man, his extraordinary life, and how his decisions affected us all.” — General John R. Galvin, U.S. Army (ret.), Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1987–1992)

“Lewis Sorley’s brilliant portrait of General Westmoreland also helps us understand why our war lasted so long and ended as it did. This is biography at its finest.” — Bui Diem, Republic of Vietnam Ambassador to the United States (1967–1972)

“A terrific book, lively and brisk and surprisingly interesting . . . This will be the definitive book on Westmoreland, and a must-read for anyone who tries to understand the Vietnam War.” — Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble

“To understand the Vietnam War in its totality one must logically try to understand General Westmoreland. Lewis Sorley has made an enormous contribution by revealing Westmoreland’s complex personality and the role it played in U.S. foreign policy.” — Melvin R. Laird, Secretary of Defense (1969–1973)

“Eye-opening and sometimes maddening, Sorley’s Westmoreland is not to be missed.” — John Prados, author of The History of an Unwinnable War

Synopsis:

A biography of Vietnam general William Westmoreland by the author of A BETTER WAR.

Synopsis:

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 on authoritative materials not previously available, including thousands of hours of tape-recorded allied councils of war, award-winning military historian Lewis Sorley has given us what has long been needed-an insightful, factual, and superbly documented history of these important years. Among his findings is that the war was being won on the ground even as it was being lost at the peace table and in the U.S. Congress. The story is a great human drama of purposeful and principled service in the face of an agonizing succession of lost opportunities, told with uncommon understanding and compassion. Sorley documents the dramatic differences in conception, conduct, and-at least for a time-results between the early and the later war. Meticulously researched and movingly told, A Better War is sure to stimulate controversy as it sheds brilliant new light on the war in Vietnam.

Synopsis:

“Engrossing and hard-hitting.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer

In this searing and authoritative biography, Lewis Sorley makes the case that Americas military failure in Vietnam could have been avoided were it not for one man. General William Westmoreland had the credentials to be a superb leader: from First Captain of his West Point class, he rocketed up the ranks, becoming for a time the armys youngest lieutenant general. But as commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, Westmoreland was a disaster, failing to grasp the wars complexities and holding firm to a flawed strategy in spite of all evidence and opposition. The definitive portrait of a military man promoted beyond his capabilities, Westmoreland is essential reading from a master historian.

“A terrific book, lively and brisk . . . and a must-read for anyone who tries to understand the Vietnam War.” — Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble

Winner of the Army Historical Foundations Distinguished Writing Award

About the Author

Lewis Sorley is a third-generation graduate of the United States Military Academy who also holds a Ph.D. 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.

Table of Contents

Contents

Maps xi

Prologue xvii

1. ORIGINS  1

2. EARLY SERVICE 9

3. WORLD WAR II 14

4. AIRBORNE DUTY 25

5. JAPAN AND KOREA 31

6. PENTAGON 41

7. DIVISION COMMAND 48

8. SUPERINTENDENT 56

9. VIETNAM 65

10. FORCES BUILDUP 77

11. SEARCH AND DESTROY 91

12. ATMOSPHERICS 108

13. BODY COUNT 121

14. M-16 RIFLES 131

15. PROGRESS OFFENSIVE 143

16. ORDER OF BATTLE 159

17. KHE SANH 168

18. TET 1968 174

19. TROOP REQUEST 189

20. HEADING HOME 198

21. CHIEF OF STAFF 206

22. SHAPING THE RECORD 225

23. VOLUNTEER ARMY 233

24. VIETNAM DRAWDOWN 241

25. DEPARTURE 247

26. IN RETIREMENT 251

27. MEMOIRS 259

28. CAMPAIGNER 267

29. PLAINTIFF 278

30. DUSK 295

Epilogue 301

Acknowledgments 304

Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations 310

Notes 313

Selected Bibliography 356

Index 371

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547844923
Author:
Sorley, Lewis
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Biography-Military
Subject:
Southeast Asia
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » Biographies
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War

Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam Sale Trade Paper
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$7.98 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547844923 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A biography of Vietnam general William Westmoreland by the author of A BETTER WAR.
"Synopsis" by ,
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 on authoritative materials not previously available, including thousands of hours of tape-recorded allied councils of war, award-winning military historian Lewis Sorley has given us what has long been needed-an insightful, factual, and superbly documented history of these important years. Among his findings is that the war was being won on the ground even as it was being lost at the peace table and in the U.S. Congress. The story is a great human drama of purposeful and principled service in the face of an agonizing succession of lost opportunities, told with uncommon understanding and compassion. Sorley documents the dramatic differences in conception, conduct, and-at least for a time-results between the early and the later war. Meticulously researched and movingly told, A Better War is sure to stimulate controversy as it sheds brilliant new light on the war in Vietnam.

"Synopsis" by ,
“Engrossing and hard-hitting.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer

In this searing and authoritative biography, Lewis Sorley makes the case that Americas military failure in Vietnam could have been avoided were it not for one man. General William Westmoreland had the credentials to be a superb leader: from First Captain of his West Point class, he rocketed up the ranks, becoming for a time the armys youngest lieutenant general. But as commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, Westmoreland was a disaster, failing to grasp the wars complexities and holding firm to a flawed strategy in spite of all evidence and opposition. The definitive portrait of a military man promoted beyond his capabilities, Westmoreland is essential reading from a master historian.

“A terrific book, lively and brisk . . . and a must-read for anyone who tries to understand the Vietnam War.” — Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble

Winner of the Army Historical Foundations Distinguished Writing Award

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