LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War

University of Texas Press
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Decades later, the Vietnam War remains a divisive memory for American society. Partisans on all sides still debate why the war was fought, how it could have been better fought, and whether it could have been won at all.

In this major study, a noted expert on the war brings a needed objectivity to these debates by examining dispassionately how and why President Lyndon Johnson and his administration conducted the war as they did. Drawing on a wealth of newly released documents from the LBJ Library, including the Tom Johnson notes from the influential Tuesday Lunch Group, George Herring discusses the concept of limited war and how it affected President Johnson's decision making, Johnson's relations with his military commanders, the administration's pacification program of 1965-1967, the management of public opinion, and the "fighting while negotiating" strategy pursued after the Tet Offensive in 1968.

The author's in-depth analysis exposes numerous flaws in Johnson's management of the war. In Herring's view, the Johnson administration lacked any overall strategy for conducting the war. No change in approach was ever discussed, despite popular and even administration dissatisfaction with the progress of the war, and no oversight committee coordinated the activities of the military services and various governmental agencies, which were left to follow their own, often conflicting, agendas.

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About the author

George C. Herring is an Alumni Professor of History at the University of Kentucky.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Texas Press
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Published on
Jul 7, 2010
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Pages
244
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ISBN
9780292749009
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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George C. Herring
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here George C. Herring uses foreign relations as the lens through which to tell the story of America's dramatic rise from thirteen disparate colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast to the world's greatest superpower. A sweeping account of United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, this magisterial volume documents America's interaction with other peoples and nations of the world. Herring tells a story of stunning successes and sometimes tragic failures, captured in a fast-paced narrative that illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation, and highlights its ongoing impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. He shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of an "American way" of life. And Herring does all this in a story rich in human drama and filled with epic events. Statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin and Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman and Dean Acheson played key roles in America's rise to world power. But America's expansion as a nation also owes much to the adventurers and explorers, the sea captains, merchants and captains of industry, the missionaries and diplomats, who discovered or charted new lands, developed new avenues of commerce, and established and defended the nation's interests in foreign lands. From the American Revolution to the fifty-year struggle with communism and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, From Colony to Superpower tells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower--its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.
Margot Lee Shetterly
The #1 New York Times bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

 

George C. Herring
In his last years as president of the United States, an embattled George Washington yearned for a time when his nation would have "the strength of a Giant and there will be none who can make us afraid." At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States seemed poised to achieve a position of world power beyond what even Washington could have imagined. In The American Century and Beyond: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1893-2014, the second volume of a new split paperback edition of the award-winning From Colony to Superpower, George C. Herring recounts the rise of the United States from the dawn of what came to be known as the American Century. This fast-paced narrative tells a story of stunning successes and tragic failures, illuminating the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation. Herring shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of the "American way of life." He recounts the United States' domination of the Caribbean and Pacific, its decisive involvement in two world wars, and the eventual victory in the half-century Cold War that left it, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's lone superpower. But the unipolar moment turned out to be stunningly brief. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the emergence of nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China have left the United States in a position that is uncertain at best. A new chapter brings Herring's sweeping narrative up through the Global War on Terror to the present.
David Grann
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST 

"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review

SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017

Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
       
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
      Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
      In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. 
      In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
George C. Herring
In his last years as president of the United States, an embattled George Washington yearned for a time when his nation would have "the strength of a Giant and there will be none who can make us afraid." At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States seemed poised to achieve a position of world power beyond what even Washington could have imagined. In The American Century and Beyond: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1893-2014, the second volume of a new split paperback edition of the award-winning From Colony to Superpower, George C. Herring recounts the rise of the United States from the dawn of what came to be known as the American Century. This fast-paced narrative tells a story of stunning successes and tragic failures, illuminating the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation. Herring shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of the "American way of life." He recounts the United States' domination of the Caribbean and Pacific, its decisive involvement in two world wars, and the eventual victory in the half-century Cold War that left it, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's lone superpower. But the unipolar moment turned out to be stunningly brief. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the emergence of nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China have left the United States in a position that is uncertain at best. A new chapter brings Herring's sweeping narrative up through the Global War on Terror to the present.
George C. Herring
In his last years as president of the United States, an embattled George Washington yearned for a time when his nation would have "the strength of a Giant and there will be none who can make us afraid." At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States seemed poised to achieve a position of world power beyond what even Washington could have imagined. In The American Century and Beyond: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1893-2014, the second volume of a new split paperback edition of the award-winning From Colony to Superpower, George C. Herring recounts the rise of the United States from the dawn of what came to be known as the American Century. This fast-paced narrative tells a story of stunning successes and tragic failures, illuminating the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation. Herring shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of the "American way of life." He recounts the United States' domination of the Caribbean and Pacific, its decisive involvement in two world wars, and the eventual victory in the half-century Cold War that left it, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's lone superpower. But the unipolar moment turned out to be stunningly brief. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the emergence of nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China have left the United States in a position that is uncertain at best. A new chapter brings Herring's sweeping narrative up through the Global War on Terror to the present.
George C. Herring
Praised in the New York Times Book Review for its "Herculean power of synthesis," George C. Herring's 2008 From Colony to Superpower has won wide acclaim from critics and readers alike. Years of Peril and Ambition: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776-1921 is the first volume of a new split paperback edition of that masterwork, making this award-winning title accessible to those with a particular interest in the first half of the United States' history. This first volume of Herring's international narrative charts the rise of the United States from a loose grouping of British colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast of North America into an emerging world power at the end of World War I. It tells an epic story of restless settlers pushing against weak restraints; of explorers, sea captains, adventurers, merchants, and missionaries carrying American ways to new lands. It analyzes countless crises, some resulting in war and others resolved peacefully. Above all, it is the tale of United States' expansion, commercial and political, across the North American continent, into the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean regions, and, economically, worldwide. Herring brings this first segment of America's dramatic emergence as a superpower to a close with the United States' post-World War I rise to the status of the world's most powerful nation, poised -- however unsteadily --for global engagement in what would be called the American Century. Years of Peril and Ambition highlights the ongoing impact of the nation's international affairs on the household names of U.S. history but also on ordinary citizens. Featuring a grand cast of characters, encompassing statesmen and presidents, diplomats and foreigners, and rogues and rascals alike, this fast-paced account illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation.
George C. Herring
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume commissioned for the series. Here George C. Herring uses foreign relations as the lens through which to tell the story of America's dramatic rise from thirteen disparate colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast to the world's greatest superpower. A sweeping account of United States' foreign relations and diplomacy, this magisterial volume documents America's interaction with other peoples and nations of the world. Herring tells a story of stunning successes and sometimes tragic failures, captured in a fast-paced narrative that illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation, and highlights its ongoing impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. He shows how policymakers defined American interests broadly to include territorial expansion, access to growing markets, and the spread of an "American way" of life. And Herring does all this in a story rich in human drama and filled with epic events. Statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin and Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman and Dean Acheson played key roles in America's rise to world power. But America's expansion as a nation also owes much to the adventurers and explorers, the sea captains, merchants and captains of industry, the missionaries and diplomats, who discovered or charted new lands, developed new avenues of commerce, and established and defended the nation's interests in foreign lands. From the American Revolution to the fifty-year struggle with communism and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, From Colony to Superpower tells the dramatic story of America's emergence as superpower--its birth in revolution, its troubled present, and its uncertain future.
George C. Herring
Praised in the New York Times Book Review for its "Herculean power of synthesis," George C. Herring's 2008 From Colony to Superpower has won wide acclaim from critics and readers alike. Years of Peril and Ambition: U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776-1921 is the first volume of a new split paperback edition of that masterwork, making this award-winning title accessible to those with a particular interest in the first half of the United States' history. This first volume of Herring's international narrative charts the rise of the United States from a loose grouping of British colonies huddled along the Atlantic coast of North America into an emerging world power at the end of World War I. It tells an epic story of restless settlers pushing against weak restraints; of explorers, sea captains, adventurers, merchants, and missionaries carrying American ways to new lands. It analyzes countless crises, some resulting in war and others resolved peacefully. Above all, it is the tale of United States' expansion, commercial and political, across the North American continent, into the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean regions, and, economically, worldwide. Herring brings this first segment of America's dramatic emergence as a superpower to a close with the United States' post-World War I rise to the status of the world's most powerful nation, poised -- however unsteadily --for global engagement in what would be called the American Century. Years of Peril and Ambition highlights the ongoing impact of the nation's international affairs on the household names of U.S. history but also on ordinary citizens. Featuring a grand cast of characters, encompassing statesmen and presidents, diplomats and foreigners, and rogues and rascals alike, this fast-paced account illuminates the central importance of foreign relations to the existence and survival of the nation.
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