The Uncensored War: The Media and the Vietnam

Oxford University Press
2
Free sample

Vietnam was America's most divisive and unsuccessful foreign war. It was also the first to be televised and the first of the modern era fought without military censorship. From the earliest days of the Kennedy-Johnson escalation right up to the American withdrawal, and even today, the media's role in Vietnam has continued to be intensely controversial. The "Uncensored War" gives a richly detailed account of what Americans read and watched about Vietnam. Hallin draws on the complete body of the New York Times coverage from 1961 to 1965, a sample of hundreds of television reports from 1965-73, including television coverage filmed by the Defense Department in the early years of the war, and interviews with many of the journalists who reported it, to give a powerful critique of the conventional wisdom, both conservative and liberal, about the media and Vietnam. Far from being a consistent adversary of government policy in Vietnam, Hallin shows, the media were closely tied to official perspectives throughout the war, though divisions in the government itself and contradictions in its public relations policies caused every administration, at certain times, to lose its ability to "manage" the news effectively. As for television, it neither showed the "literal horror of war," nor did it play a leading role in the collapse of support: it presented a highly idealized picture of the war in the early years, and shifted toward a more critical view only after public unhappiness and elite divisions over the war were well advanced. The "Uncensored War" is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Vietnam war or the role of the media in contemporary American politics. A groundbreaking study of the media's influence on the Vietnam War
·Overturns the conventional notions about the media's role in the war
·Draws directly on a huge body of newspaper and TV coverage
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About the author

Daniel C. Hallin is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 8, 1986
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Pages
293
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ISBN
9780198020868
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / Media & Communications
History / Military / Vietnam War
Political Science / International Relations / General
Social Science / Media Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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More than 8.7 million Americans reported for military duty in Southeast Asia, but only a select few wore the Green Beret, the distinctive symbol of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Operating out of small outposts in some of the worlds most rugged terrain, these elite soldiers played a crucial role during the protracted conflict.

Special Forces at War: an Illustrated History, Southeast Asia 1957-1975 by wartime veteran and military historian Shelby l. Stanton comprises ten chapters, chronologically arranged, that show Special Forces' activity from the first deployments of Green Berets into battle, through their ever-expanding instruction and training, wartime advisory, border surveillance, strike force, and special operations roles. No matter what the task, the Special Forces served with valor and dedication.

This photographic history is unprecedented in scope. Featuring rare and unpublished images, it presents an exclusive, insider view of covert activities such as Project Delta, whose Special Forces-trained Vietnamese commandos, nicknamed "road-runners," posed as North Vietnamese Army or Viet Cong troops behind communist lines. It depicts Special Forces' camps before, during, and after enemy assaults. It features an array of lethal weapons used by resourceful Green Berets fighting to preserve their remote outposts, as well as allied and enemy documents and propaganda. From ordinary camp life to special missions, no aspect of Special Forces activities during the Second Indochina War has been overlooked. Stanton knows his subject first hand.

During six years of active duty as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, he served as a paratrooper platoon leader, an airborne ranger advisor to the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare Center, and a Special Forces long-range reconnaissance team commander in Southeast Asia before being wounded in combat in Nam Yu, LaosThrough his contacts with Special Forces veterans and his own research, Stanton has assembled hundreds of photographs, details.
On April 30, 1975, Saigon and the government of South Vietnam fell to the communist regime of North Vietnam, ending -- for American military forces -- exactly twenty-five year of courageous but unavailing struggle. This is not the story of how America became embroiled in a conflict in a small country half-way around the globe, nor of why our armed forces remained there so long after the futility of our efforts became obvious to many. It is the story of what went wrong there militarily, and why. The author is a professional soldier who experienced the Vietnam war in the field and in the highest command echelons. General Palmer's insights into the key events and decisions that shaped American's military role in Vietnam are uncommonly perceptive. America's most serious error, he believes, was committing its armed forces to a war in which neither political nor military goals were ever fully articulated by our civilian leaders. Our armed forces, lacking clear objectives, failed to develop an appropriate strategy, instead relinquishing the offensive to Hanoi. Yet an achievable strategy could have been devised, Palmer believes. Moreover, our South Vietnamese allies could have been bolstered by appropriate aid but were instead overwhelmed by the massive American military presence. Compounding these errors were the flawed civilian and military chains of command. The result was defeat for America and disaster for South Vietnam. General Palmer presents here an insider's history of the war and an astute critique of America's military strengths and successes as well as its weaknesses and failures.
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