Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam

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“A terrific book, lively and brisk . . . a must read for anyone who tries to understand the Vietnam War.” —Thomas E. Ricks

Is it possible that the riddle of America’s military failure in Vietnam has a one-word, one-man answer?

Until we understand Gen. William Westmoreland, we will never know what went wrong in the Vietnam War. An Eagle Scout at fifteen, First Captain of his West Point class, Westmoreland fought in two wars and became Superintendent at West Point. Then he was chosen to lead the war effort in Vietnam for four crucial years.

He proved a disaster. Unable to think creatively about unconventional warfare, Westmoreland chose an unavailing strategy, stuck to it in the face of all opposition, and stood accused of fudging the results when it mattered most. In this definitive portrait, prize-winning military historian Lewis Sorley makes a plausible case that the war could have been won were it not for General Westmoreland.
An authoritative study offering tragic lessons crucial for the future of American leadership, Westmoreland is essential reading.
“Eye-opening and sometimes maddening, Sorley’s Westmoreland is not to be missed.” —John Prados, author of Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945–1975
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About the author

Lewis Sorley is a third-generation graduate of the United States Military Academy, who also holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He served in Vietnam, as well as the Pentagon in the offices of Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger and Army Chief of Staff Gen. William C. Westmoreland. Sorley also taught at West Point and the Army War College. He is the author of five highly-regarded works of military history.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Oct 11, 2011
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780547518275
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Military
History / Military / Strategy
History / Military / Vietnam War
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans.

Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won.

A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam–a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war.
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