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  • seeking critique on a book

    Has anyone read this book and if so what is your take on it?

    http://www.amazon.com/Politically-In.../dp/1596985674

  • #2
    Outstanding idea. To answer your question; no, I have not read it but I did just now read the review in Amazon and I put one in my cart. As soon as I get back stateside I'll make the purchase. As soon as I finish with Abandoned in Place and An Enormous Crime I'll get right on it.

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    • #3
      Jeff, when I look at an author's bio page on Amazon and he lists "almost' getting a masters degree in pre-Columbian Art at the "Universidad de Mexico" he loses me immediately. There is a "Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico" (UNAM) but no "Universidad de Mexico", unless someone has put up a storefront operation in Nuevo Laredo with that title. And if he meant "UNAM", I have to wonder if someone that careless with his(?) alma mater's name can be trusted to dissect and analyze the facts surrounding and arising from the Vietnam war with any accuracy.
      dit: Lirelou

      Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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      • #4
        I met Phil Jennings on VWAR-L a few years ago when he showed up to hawk his book. It's been a while since I read it or looked over the Amazon page.

        I stopped using books as the primary vehicle for understanding the history of the war a few years ago, and prefer instead organizing material reflected in books according to the competing interpretive frameworks, outlines, timelines, which highlight basic assumptions of the primary competing interpretive views.

        Brief intro articles like this helped a lot
        http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps...pretations.htm
        "Changing Interpretations of the Vietnam War" Robert J. McMahon, 1999

        Of course the field remains in flux. Book reviews at H-Diplo Roundtable are invaluable for anyone trying to understand the history from scholarly perspectives, or anyone who just wants to get a feel for current shcolarship on the subject.

        Some people seem to like books that reflect their own point of view. It's a free country, so far.

        Assuming you're familiar with various competing perspectives, I think it's safe to say that Jennings' book is a layman's nonscholarly presentation of one brand of revisionism, the view that US was right to intervene in SEA, wrong to give up on South Vietnam, instrumental in helping keep communist expansion at bay through the end of the Cold War, perhaps even the demise of the USSR. In the process of making this broad point, Jennings takes on the central tenets aka "Myths" of the prevailing establishment views, the antiwar movement, the liberal press, et al.

        In short, IIRC it's content-wise not a bad primer/firm advocacy piece on one point of view on history of the war. I can't recall how well-argued.

        I can't seem to lay my hands on my copy right now, but I believe Jennings' PIG to VN War incorporates most of the rationalia, arguments, contentions of this outfit, and vice versa:
        http://www.vvfh.org/

        Scholarly advocate counterparts include Keith Taylor, Douglas Pike, Olga Dror, Mark Moyar, and others. Other scholars whose recent work reflects some of the mythbusting of Jennings et al but are less singleminded on the broader implications are Lien-Hang T Nguyen, Peter Zinoman, Pierre Asselin.

        BTW since LHT Nguyen's 2012 book came out, any book on history of the VN War ought to have Le Duan in the index.

        JM$.02
        Informed dissent/correctives/additions welcome on any/all the above.
        Last edited by Jeffy; 23 Feb 16, 14:57.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lirelou View Post
          Jeff, when I look at an author's bio page on Amazon and he lists "almost' getting a masters degree in pre-Columbian Art at the "Universidad de Mexico" he loses me immediately.
          +1

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