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Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia

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Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gripping account of one of the century's most harrowing human catastrophes--the fall of South Vietnam-- Without Honor captures the tragedy and the irony of the Vietnam War's last days and examines the consequences of the American military and political decisions that had sustained the war effort for a generation only to lead to the worst foreign policy failure in the nation's history. Arnold Isaacs, who spent the final years of the war in Vietnam as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, describes his firsthand observations of the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam--from the 1973 Paris peace agreement to the American evacuation of Saigon and its aftermath--with heartbreaking detail, from the devastated battlefields and villages to the boats filled with terrified refugees. He also provides an historical record of unparalleled accuracy and depth about the strategic decisions made during the war's end game and the intelligence failure that led Americans and their Southeast Asian allies to underestimate the strength and perseverance of the enemy. Drawing on previously classified military documents, field reports from American advisors, eyewitness accounts by soldiers and civilians, and North Vietnamese propaganda broadcasts, Isaacs offers a compelling and compassionate portrait of the impact of America's Vietnamization of the conflict and a bracing indictment of political and military leaders in the United States and both Vietnams for the massive human suffering that accompanied the end of the war.

Review:

"Isaacs spent much of the period between the 1972 Paris peace accords and the fall of Saigon covering South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for the Baltimore Sun. His account of those three years, combining personal experience with an ambitious use of documentary sources, explores the human cost of the U.S. decision to abandon the struggle in Southeast Asia. Though necessary to meet our own needs, he writes, 'it was also an act of betrayal.' Isaac's book suggests the poverty of the old debate between 'realists' and 'moralists' in American foreign policy and diplomatic history— between the Henry Kissingers and Woodrow Wilsons. Our good intentions in Vietnam brought corruption and devastation; our cynical departure brought ruin and despair to a great many ordinary men and women. We may join Isaacs in the wish that they 'had had a cause or a leadership worthy of their sacrifices' and in the hope that we gain from our Southeast Asian misadventure." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Book News Annotation:

An American war correspondent in Vietnam during the final years of the war, Isaacs describes in personal detail the fall of US backed regimes in light of President Nixon's refusal to consider any peace that violated his sense of American honOR (booknews@booknews.com) From the 1973 Paris peace agreement to the US evacuation of Saigon and its aftermath, he describes devastated battlefields and villages, boats filled with refugees, and other scenes. He also examines US strategic end-game decisions and the failure of intelligence to recognize the strength and perseverance of the opponent. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews@booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Without Honor is a courageous and honest book about a period of American history which most would rather forget. — Seymour Hersh

A gripping account of one of the century's most harrowing human catastrophes — the fall of South Vietnam — Without Honor captures the tragedy and the irony of the Vietnam War's last days and examines the consequences of the American military and political decisions that had sustained the war effort for a generation only to lead to the worst foreign policy failure in the nation's history. Arnold Isaacs, who spent the final years of the war in Vietnam as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, describes his firsthand observations of the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam — from the 1973 Paris peace agreement to the American evacuation of Saigon and its aftermath — with heartbreaking detail, from the devastated battlefields and villages to the boats filled with terrified refugees. He also provides an historical record of unparalleled accuracy and depth about the strategic decisions made during the war's end game and the intelligence failure that led Americans and their Southeast Asian allies to underestimate the strength and perseverance of the enemy. Drawing on previously classified military documents, field reports from American advisors, eyewitness accounts by soldiers and civilians, and North Vietnamese propaganda broadcasts, Isaacs offers a compelling and compassionate portrait of the impact of America's Vietnamization of the conflict and a bracing indictment of political and military leaders in the United States and both Vietnams for the massive human suffering that accompanied the end of the war.

Vivid and very passionate... Isaacs] succeeds so brilliantly that one almost wishes — before our near-universal national forgetfulness and instinct for self-justification take over for good — that all candidates for public office could be required to pass a public examination of its contents. — Gene Lyons, Newsweek

Impassioned... Isaacs's anguished chapter on the collapse of the city of Da Nang, where the first American Marines had landed in 1965, is reason enough to read his fast-paced report. — John Spragens, Jr., Commonweal

A sound and interesting narrative, which succeeds in combining vivid images of the war with the statistics and analysis that are essential of historical perspective... A good book. — Times Literary Supplement

A wonderful weave of Isaacs' eyeball-reporting and subsequent, intense research. The thud and blood of combat in the wailing of mortally wounded nations are here. So are the softer sounds of negotiations, riffled documents, the sigh of broken agreements, and the tinkle of glass on conference tables. — Paul Dean, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The most complete account of the fall of Indochina... A biting indictment of American policy... The immediacy and impact of his book is compelling. — Reviews in American History

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 535-549) and index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780801861079
Author:
Isaacs, Arnold R.
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Author:
Isaacs, Arnold R.
Location:
Baltimore :
Subject:
History
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Subject:
Vietnamese conflict, 1961-1975
Subject:
Vietnam
Subject:
Southeast Asia
Subject:
Indochina
Subject:
Vietnamese Conflict, 19
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Asia - Southeast Asia
Subject:
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Subject:
Indochina History 1945-
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Publication Date:
19981231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
8.93x5.94x1.37 in. 1.69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » World History » Southeast Asia
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General

Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 576 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801861079 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Without Honor is a courageous and honest book about a period of American history which most would rather forget. — Seymour Hersh

A gripping account of one of the century's most harrowing human catastrophes — the fall of South Vietnam — Without Honor captures the tragedy and the irony of the Vietnam War's last days and examines the consequences of the American military and political decisions that had sustained the war effort for a generation only to lead to the worst foreign policy failure in the nation's history. Arnold Isaacs, who spent the final years of the war in Vietnam as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, describes his firsthand observations of the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam — from the 1973 Paris peace agreement to the American evacuation of Saigon and its aftermath — with heartbreaking detail, from the devastated battlefields and villages to the boats filled with terrified refugees. He also provides an historical record of unparalleled accuracy and depth about the strategic decisions made during the war's end game and the intelligence failure that led Americans and their Southeast Asian allies to underestimate the strength and perseverance of the enemy. Drawing on previously classified military documents, field reports from American advisors, eyewitness accounts by soldiers and civilians, and North Vietnamese propaganda broadcasts, Isaacs offers a compelling and compassionate portrait of the impact of America's Vietnamization of the conflict and a bracing indictment of political and military leaders in the United States and both Vietnams for the massive human suffering that accompanied the end of the war.

Vivid and very passionate... Isaacs] succeeds so brilliantly that one almost wishes — before our near-universal national forgetfulness and instinct for self-justification take over for good — that all candidates for public office could be required to pass a public examination of its contents. — Gene Lyons, Newsweek

Impassioned... Isaacs's anguished chapter on the collapse of the city of Da Nang, where the first American Marines had landed in 1965, is reason enough to read his fast-paced report. — John Spragens, Jr., Commonweal

A sound and interesting narrative, which succeeds in combining vivid images of the war with the statistics and analysis that are essential of historical perspective... A good book. — Times Literary Supplement

A wonderful weave of Isaacs' eyeball-reporting and subsequent, intense research. The thud and blood of combat in the wailing of mortally wounded nations are here. So are the softer sounds of negotiations, riffled documents, the sigh of broken agreements, and the tinkle of glass on conference tables. — Paul Dean, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The most complete account of the fall of Indochina... A biting indictment of American policy... The immediacy and impact of his book is compelling. — Reviews in American History

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