Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Amazon review: 'JFK and Vietnam,' by John Newman

"Most of us have a vague idea that the Vietnam war grew gradually until 1965, when the main force of US action began.

Vietnam is an important series of events in American history. An entire generation of Americans were deeply shaped by what happened during that war, the political side effects of the war shaped the resurgence of the Republican party in the 1970s and 1980s, and there are some who wonder if the deaths of President Kennedy and other such events were not related to the war.

Newman's book details 2 strains in the Kennedy administration. One was President Kennedy's, who was seeking to draw down the number and strength of US advisers serving in Vietnam. The other strain had leadership from Vice President Johnson, and sought to escalate US military intervention. This book provides careful, well thought out analysis of both the pro and anti interventionist groups, and details the strengths and weaknesses both sides brought to the table, as well as the personalities in each group.

Newman is methodical and does not draw out conclusions that he cannot sustain by factual information. This book provides much needed information and details about a segment of American history that has shaped current events, but about which most of us don't know enough. It is a good, well done, and superbly interesting book."

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