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Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us Into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did

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Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us Into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a probing look at the myths of American culture that led us into the Vietnam quagmire, Loren Baritz exposes our national illusions: the conviction of our moral supremacy, our assumption that Americans are more idealistic than other people, and our faith in a technology that supposedly makes us invincible. He also reveals how Vietnam changed American culture today, from the successes and failures of the Washington bureaucracy to the destruction of the traditional military code of honor.

Review:

"Baritz's emphasis on the underlying assumptions that motivated American policy makers and the vigor and unconcealed emotion with which he writes give these pages an impact they would not otherwise have....It reminds us with eloquence, power and passion that war is a form of intercourse with other peoples that unveils the deepest assumptions that a nation makes about itself and its relationship to the outside world." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The first full-length and scholarly account of why we got into Vietnam in the first place, why we fought as barbarously as the Japanese in Manchuria or the Germans in Poland, and why we deserved to lose it — indeed why we did have to lose it if we were to find any kind of ultimate peace." Henry Steele Commager, Amherst College

Review:

"A provocative and informative book written in the easy style of a seasoned teacher. One must wonder what might have been had Backfire been written two decades earlier." Paul Bucha, Medal of Honor, Vietnam

Review:

"This remarkable book provides a way of looking at the Vietnam War that is both intellectually complex and extremely moving." Susan Sontag

Review:

"Baritz reminds us of how confident we were in America's invincibility during those pre-Vietnam War days. He looks closely into 'the invention of South Vietnam' during the Kennedy years, and he examines the body counting war at home — the bureaucratic and psychological effort to convince ourselves that we were winning, and would surely win. Backfire reveals brilliantly why the lessons of Vietnam are so difficult to learn," Martin J. Sherwin, History Book Club

Synopsis:

Examines the myths of American culture that led it into Vietnam. Baritz exposes America's national illusions - that Americans are morally supreme, idealistic, invincible - and reveals how Vietnam changed today's American culture.

Synopsis:

The first full-length and scholarly account of why we got into Vietnam in the first place, why we fought as barbarously as the Japanese in Manchuria or the Germans in Poland, and why we deserved to lose it — indeed why we did have to lose it if we were to find any kind of ultimate peace. — Henry Steele Commager, Amherst College

A provocative and informative book written in the easy style of a seasoned teacher. One must wonder what might have been had Backfire been written two decades earlier. — Paul Bucha, Medal of Honor, Vietnam

This remarkable book provides a way of looking at the Vietnam War that is both intellectually complex and extremely moving. — Susan Sontag

In a probing look at the myths of American culture that led us into the Vietnam quagmire, Loren Baritz exposes our national illusions: the conviction of our moral supremacy, our assumption that Americans are more idealistic than other people, and our faith in a technology that supposedly makes us invincible. He also reveals how Vietnam changed American culture today, from the successes and failures of the Washington bureaucracy to the destruction of the traditional military code of honor.

Baritz reminds us of how confident we were in America's invincibility during those pre-Vietnam War days. He looks closely into 'the invention of South Vietnam' during the Kennedy years, and he examines the body counting war at home — the bureaucratic and psychological effort to convince ourselves that we were winning, and would surely win. Backfire reveals brilliantly why the lessons of Vietnam are so difficult to learn, — Martin J. Sherwin, History Book Club

Product Details

ISBN:
9780801859533
Author:
Baritz, Loren
Author:
Bartiz
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Subject:
Vietnamese conflict, 1961-1975
Subject:
1945-
Subject:
Southeast Asia
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Asia - Southeast Asia
Copyright:
Publication Date:
19980631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.06x6.14x.99 in. 1.31 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Southeast Asia

Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us Into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801859533 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Baritz's emphasis on the underlying assumptions that motivated American policy makers and the vigor and unconcealed emotion with which he writes give these pages an impact they would not otherwise have....It reminds us with eloquence, power and passion that war is a form of intercourse with other peoples that unveils the deepest assumptions that a nation makes about itself and its relationship to the outside world."
"Review" by , "The first full-length and scholarly account of why we got into Vietnam in the first place, why we fought as barbarously as the Japanese in Manchuria or the Germans in Poland, and why we deserved to lose it — indeed why we did have to lose it if we were to find any kind of ultimate peace."
"Review" by , "A provocative and informative book written in the easy style of a seasoned teacher. One must wonder what might have been had Backfire been written two decades earlier."
"Review" by , "This remarkable book provides a way of looking at the Vietnam War that is both intellectually complex and extremely moving."
"Review" by , "Baritz reminds us of how confident we were in America's invincibility during those pre-Vietnam War days. He looks closely into 'the invention of South Vietnam' during the Kennedy years, and he examines the body counting war at home — the bureaucratic and psychological effort to convince ourselves that we were winning, and would surely win. Backfire reveals brilliantly why the lessons of Vietnam are so difficult to learn,"
"Synopsis" by , Examines the myths of American culture that led it into Vietnam. Baritz exposes America's national illusions - that Americans are morally supreme, idealistic, invincible - and reveals how Vietnam changed today's American culture.
"Synopsis" by , The first full-length and scholarly account of why we got into Vietnam in the first place, why we fought as barbarously as the Japanese in Manchuria or the Germans in Poland, and why we deserved to lose it — indeed why we did have to lose it if we were to find any kind of ultimate peace. — Henry Steele Commager, Amherst College

A provocative and informative book written in the easy style of a seasoned teacher. One must wonder what might have been had Backfire been written two decades earlier. — Paul Bucha, Medal of Honor, Vietnam

This remarkable book provides a way of looking at the Vietnam War that is both intellectually complex and extremely moving. — Susan Sontag

In a probing look at the myths of American culture that led us into the Vietnam quagmire, Loren Baritz exposes our national illusions: the conviction of our moral supremacy, our assumption that Americans are more idealistic than other people, and our faith in a technology that supposedly makes us invincible. He also reveals how Vietnam changed American culture today, from the successes and failures of the Washington bureaucracy to the destruction of the traditional military code of honor.

Baritz reminds us of how confident we were in America's invincibility during those pre-Vietnam War days. He looks closely into 'the invention of South Vietnam' during the Kennedy years, and he examines the body counting war at home — the bureaucratic and psychological effort to convince ourselves that we were winning, and would surely win. Backfire reveals brilliantly why the lessons of Vietnam are so difficult to learn, — Martin J. Sherwin, History Book Club

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