Review of "Indochina and Vietnam: The Thirty-Five Year War, 1940-1975" by Robert L. Miller and Dennis Wainstock

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Book Review

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Choice Reviews Online




Miller (publisher and senior editor, Enigma Books) and Wainstock (history, Fairmont State Univ.) offer a survey of the 35 years of conflict in Indochina and Vietnam from 1940 through 1975. Divided into three parts, the book reviews the Vietnamese struggle against Japanese and French imperialism, the division of North and South Vietnam in the context of the Cold War, and the US war in Vietnam. In a brief and readable 237 pages, the authors cover the usual suspects: the French disaster in the Indochina War; Eisenhower's support of South Vietnam and the Diem regime; Kennedy's deepening support of the South, then controversial but tacit approval of the coup against Diem; Johnson's expansion of the war; and Nixon's costly efforts to disengage from Vietnam. The authors tell the story primarily from French and US perspectives, focusing on the political and high-military levels while giving adequate attention to Vietnamese points of view, especially that of the North. While revealing no significant new interpretations, Miller and Wainstock succeed in delivering an effective survey of Vietnam's long war.