11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Searchlight on a Quagmire,
This review is from: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (Hardcover)
Frederik Logevall's book is a masterly account of the wars fought by France and America against the Vietnamese. It dissects the political, strategic and operational errors made by both countries at a time when Cold War hysteria was on the rise. Sadly, some of the same errors have and are being repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan
He reminds readers that Ho Chi Minh, who later became the communist leader of North Vietnam,was made an honorary member of the OSS before being denounced in 1946 as an agent of international communism!Ho and Giap were superb political and military figures, in many ways far superior to anyone on the French or American sides.
Logeville demonstrates how American leaders in the period 1950-75 thought themselves invincible on the battlefield. They were to learn a bitter lesson in Vietnam just as the French had at Dien Bien Phu.
In the war America lost some 58000 men plus thousands more wounded physically and mentally. Contrast these figures with losses in Iraq and Afghanistan despite these two wars having already lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined.
This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the Vietnam wars and today's conflict in American political and military circles over pragmatism and idealism.