Monday, February 23, 2015

Review of Embers of War by Fredrik Logevall

Author:  Fredrik Logevall.
Title:  Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and The Making of America's Vietnam.
Publisher:  Random House.
Copyright:  2013.
Pages:  837.
Price:  $20.00.

Impressions and Overview:
Embers of War won a Pulitzer Prize for History.  It took me about two months to go through this book.  It covers from 1920 to 1965.  I found the military campaigns more interesting than the politics that went into the conflict.

Looking back, I have no sympathy for French attempts to reestablish their colonial empire in Indochina after World War II.  I find the American position helping the French empire in the name of anti-Communism ludicrous at best and totally unrealistic at worse.

Going to war in 1965 with the same game plan the French had in 1954 is no game plan.  That's not how you wage counterinsurgency when the government you're helping has no popular support in the countryside.  I can go on about this.  The Vietnam War didn't have be waged.

I can ask same questions why we are in Afghanistan and the Middle East.  Like Vietnam, there isn't any public debate about what should be done with putting our forces in harm's way.  Especially, when we support corrupt governments with little popular support of their people in drawn out military campaigns.

Have we learned nothing from history?

Even though it's a long book, I recommend it for the intellectual and casual history buff.

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