Synopses & Reviews
Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States. The book provides many new insights into the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and demonstrates that the coup negated the South Vietnamese government's tremendous, and hitherto unappreciated, military and political gains between 1954 and 1963. After Diem's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson had at his disposal several aggressive policy options that could have enabled South Vietnam to continue the war without a massive US troop infusion, but he ruled out these options because of faulty assumptions and inadequate intelligence, making such an infusion the only means of saving the country.
"A full-blooded member of what he calls the 'revisionist school' of Vietnam War historians, Moyar firmly believes that America's longest and most controversial overseas war was 'a worthy but improperly executed enterprise.' His fiercely argued book, which covers the early years of American involvement in the war, is an unabated salvo against what he calls the 'orthodox school' that sees American involvement in the war as 'wrongheaded and unjust.' The main villains are former Vietnam War correspondents David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan; former U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Henry Cabot Lodge; and just about anyone else who had bad things to say about South Vietnamese premier Ngo Dinh Diem and good things to say about Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Though Moyar marshals many primary sources to buttress his political point of view, he undermines his argument by disparaging those he disagrees with (calling Sheehan and Halberstam, for example, 'indignant,' 'vengeful,' and 'self-righteous'). He also showers praise on those who backed Diem, the autocratic leader who stifled the press and his political opponents. Revisionists will embrace the book; the orthodox will see it as more evidence of a vast, right-wing conspiracy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Thoroughly researched and richly informative....A valuable appraisal."
-Booklist"A radically revisionist account of America's policy in Vietnam during the years before combat troops were introduced. Based largely on archival sources and Communist histories of the war, this highly provocative work attacks virtually every aspect of what Moyar calls the 'orthodox' historical interpretations of the war."
-Library Journal"Mark Moyar tells how and why the United States did not win its first war in Vietnam, 1954-1965. Triumph Forsaken replaces its predecessors because it shows how the counterinsurgency campaign might have been won at acceptable cost, thus avoiding 'the big war' that followed."
-Allan R. Millett, Director, Eisenhower Center for American Studies, University of New Orleans"I know of no scholar more dedicated to bringing a thorough and accurate portrayal of America's involvement in Vietnam than Mark Moyar. Everyone who is interested in a full picture of that oftmisunderstood war should be grateful for his effort."
-James Webb, Marine combat veteran, author of Fields of Fire and Born Fighting"Numerous bits of conventional wisdom have accreted around the Vietnam War. It is commonly held that Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist above all, not a true communist, and that his victory was inevitable. That Ngo Dinh Diem was an unpopular and repressive reactionary. That the United States had no vital strategic interest in defending South Vietnam. That the 'domino theory' was a myth. That the U.S. was right not to invade North Vietnam or Laos for fear of triggering Chinese intervention. Mark Moyar, a young, bold, and iconoclastic historian, takes a sledge hammer to these hoary beliefs. It is 'revisionist' in the best sense of the word."
-Max Boot, author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power and War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today."Triumph Forsaken is a remarkable book. Moyar's work is the most powerful challenge to the orthodox interpretation of the origins of America's war in Vietnam. In taking a fresh look at the primary sources, as well as exploiting new materials from the American and communist archives, Moyar has constructed an alternative explanation for the roots of the American commitment. Moyar's book compels historians to reopen the debate about the meaning of the Vietnam War."
-Thomas Alan Schwartz, Professor of History, Vanderbilt University"Mark Moyar has produced the best 'revisionist' study to date of the U.S.intervention in Vietnam. Engagingly written and broadly researched, this book establishes Moyar as the leading voice of a new generation of historians intent on challenging conventional wisdom."
-William Stueck, author of Rethinking the Korean War"A revisionist history that challenges the notion that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was misguided; defends the validity of the domino theory and disputes the notion that Ho Chi Minh was, at heart, a nationalist who would eventually turn against his Communist Chinese allies."
-Chronicle of Higher Education"...this is an important book, a history that serves as a mirror on the present."
-Wall Street Journal"The book is meticulously documented; it draws on the substantial U.S. documentary record of the war, bringing fresh perspectives to familiar evidence. Moyar augments and supports his analysis with extensive use of North Vietnamese archival material, most of which was unavailable to the orthodox historians of the 1970s and '80s. In sum, Triumph Forsaken is an important book...."
Triumph Forsaken overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War.
This volume by Moyar overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War.
Drawing on a wealth of new evidence, Mark Moyar, an eminent military historian and expert on American diplomatic and intelligence history, demonstrates that leaders and government officials were right to believe that the fall of South Vietnam would endanger the security interests of the United States. 10 halftone photos. 1 map.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Heritage; 2. Two Vietnams, July 1954-December 1955; 3. Peaceful coexistence, 1956-1959; 4. Insurgency, 1960; 5. Commitment, 1961; 6. Rejuvenation, January-June 1962; 7. Attack, July-December 1962; 8. The battle of Ap Bac, January 1963; 9. Diem on trial, February-July 1963; 10. Betrayal, August 1963; 11. Self-destruction, September-November 2, 1963; 12. The return of the twelve warlords, November 3-December 1963; 13. Self-imposed restrictions, January-July 1964; 14. Signals, August-October 1964; 15. Invasion, November-December 1964; 16. The prize for victory, January-May 1965; 17. Decision, June-July 1965.