Item description for Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost by Joe Allen & John Pilger...
As the United States now faces a major defeat in its occupation of Iraq, the history of the Vietnam War, as a historic blunder for US military forces abroad, and the true story of how it was stopped, take on a fresh importance. Unlike most books on the topic, constructed as specialized academic studies, The (Last) War the United States Lost examines the lessons of the Vietnam era with Joe Allen's eye of both a dedicated historian and an engaged participant in today's antiwar movement.
Many damaging myths about the Vietnam era persist, including the accusations that antiwar activists routinely jeered and spat at returning soldiers or that the war finally ended because Congress cut off its funding. Writing in a clear and accessible style, Allen reclaims the stories of the courageous GI revolt; its dynamic relationship with the civil rights movement and the peace movement; the development of coffee houses where these groups came to speak out, debate, and organize; and the struggles waged throughout barracks, bases, and military prisons to challenge the rule of military command.
Allen's analysis of the US failure in Vietnam is also the story of the hubris of US imperial overreach, a new chapter of which is unfolding in the Middle East today.
Joe Allen is a regular contributor to the International Socialist Review and a longstanding social justice fighter, involved in the ongoing struggles for labor, the abolition of the death penalty, and to free the political prisoner Gary Tyler.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.25" Height: 8" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2008
Publisher Haymarket Books
ISBN 1931859493 ISBN13 9781931859493
Availability 0 units.
More About Joe Allen & John Pilger
Allen shoots and edits video for AudioVision in Overland Park, Kansas.
Joe Allen currently resides in the state of Kansas.
Reviews - What do customers think about Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost?
Putting the Pieces Together Jul 29, 2008
Joe Allen's brief summation of the U.S. war in Vietnam is an excellent and compact history of both the U.S. war of aggression, as well as the domestic revolution that occurred at home. With excellent precision and historical breadth Allen reviews the context of French colonialism in Vietnam, followed by the US' multiple attempts to reclaim the former colony, namely military funding and support, followed by an air invasion, followed by the full-scale deployment of troops. Allen traces the web of deceit that flowed from the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, which culminated in the secret bombing of Cambodia. Allen demonstrates quite lucidly, how the war was stopped through a combination of resistance at home, NLF resistance, and GI resistance. There are excellent descriptions of the Black Power movement, as well as the rise of working class militancy in the 1970's. Allen demolishes the myth that opposition to the US war was primarily student/intellectual led, and demonstrates that opposition to the war was overwhelmingly led by the working classes. Perhaps the only thing that is missing in this account is an analysis of the economic considerations of US policy makers. Still, an excellent work of history.
Essential summary of Viet Nam War Jul 21, 2008
I have 14 books in my library about the Vietnam war. I believe Joe Allen's book is the most accurate summary of the etiology of the war,"in country" events and what was happening stateside. I was not in the military, but I lived through and participated in much of what Joe so aptly describes. If this book had been published and was read by High School students circa 2000 perhaps there would have been a more substantial resistance to the Iraq debacle. I believe Iraq is the [next] war the U.S.lost.
The lasting harm America did in Vietnam is all too easily forgotten... at least stateside Jul 12, 2008
Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost is an unflinching history of the United States involvement in the Vietnam war - America's motives, its cruelties, and why America ultimately failed to win the war, along with comparisons to the modern-day situation in Iraq. Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost takes especial pains to attack common American myths about the Vietnam War, particularly the idea that Americans were caught in the middle of a conflict between stable Vietnamese governments. In fact, America was propping up a horrendously incompetent, inefficient, and repressive puppet government that represented only a tiny part of the Vietnamese population - mostly its landholding elite. The South Vietnamese government further stirred up resentment among the majority of the population by overturning land reform, in effect demanding that peasants give up land and pay heavy back taxes to their former landlords. As a result, Ho Chi Minh and his North Vietnamese government had overwhelming popular support, which was only further intensified by American brutalities against Vietnamese civilians. A section of the American population recognized the injustices being perpetrated in the Vietnamese war, and actively worked to oppose it; and among the armed forces, resentment against the war expressed itself in ways ranging from absences without leave to incidents of "fragging" (maiming or murdering, often by means of a fragmentation grenade) unpopular officers. This trifecta is what ultimately brought victory to one of the world's poorest nations over one of the world's richest - but it was a victory with a high cost, as the effects of American poisons, defoliants, and the memory of American massacres linger to this day. "Now the big question: 'Is Iraq the next Vietnam?' The answer is that it could be. That will be determined by two forces: the Iraqi people and the American working class." Though not a politically neutral account, Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost is carefully researched and deserves a thorough examination especially in today's era when the lasting harm America did in Vietnam is all too easily forgotten... at least stateside.