Synopses & Reviews
Richard Nixon came into office seeking a decisive victory in Vietnam, and expanded the war in hopes of upholding a policy of “containment,” protecting America’s credibility, and defying the growing antiwar movement. However, by 1971 the president was forced to significantly de-escalate the American presence and seek a negotiated end to the war. Aided by recently declassified documents, David F. Schmitz, provides a comprehensive analysis of Nixon’s Vietnam policy during the first years of his administration, clearly demonstrating that Nixon pursued military victory and providing a new periodization for our understanding of the Vietnam War.
"Drawing on recently declassified documents and recordings from Nixon administration, historian Schmitz (The Tet Offensive) provides a revealing analysis of the 37th President's handling of the Vietnam War. Schmitz's findings illustrate that victory was imperative for Nixon, who didn't wish to become the only president to lose a war. With the objectives of containing communism, and preserving American credibility among the nations of the world, Nixon was willing to do anything to insure South Vietnam ended the war as an independent democracy, including carrying out covert missions and bombings, deceiving the American people, and even feigning insanity. Direct quotations from speeches, publications, and behind-closed-doors conversations are juxtaposed with the events that occurred at the time, providing a startling contrast that emphasizes just how often Nixon said one thing and did another. Schmitz concisely lays out Nixon's war strategy while pinpointing the controversial twists in the foreign policy from the years 1971 to 1973, and draws finely tuned conclusions about the larger impact on years to come. This strong, scholarly study will find its readership among both academics and American history buffs. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.