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Amazon Exclusive Essay: "New Vietnam War History" by Lewis Sorley, Author of A Better War
For a long time most people thought the long years of American involvement in the Vietnam War were just more of the same--with a bad ending. Now we know that during the latter years, when General Creighton Abrams commanded U.S. forces, almost everything changed, and for the better. Abrams understood the nature of the war and devised a more availing approach to the conduct of it. Building up South Vietnam's own armed forces got high priority, whereas before they had been neglected and allowed to go into combat outgunned by the enemy. The covert infrastructure which through terror and coercion kept South Vietnam's rural population under domination was painstakingly rooted out, not ignored as earlier. And combat operations were greatly improved, concentrating on large numbers of patrols and ambushes designed to provide security for the people rather than cumbersome large-unit sweeps through the deep jungle. Some commentators have called the description of these changes "revisionist" history, but actually it is new history. Virtually all the better-known earlier books about the war concentrated heavily on the early years, leaving the later period grossly neglected. New insight came importantly from a collection of hundreds of tape recordings of briefings and staff meetings in General Abrams's headquarters during the four years he commanded in Vietnam. They are filled with human drama, professional debate, successes and frustrations, and ultimately a hard-won triumph, told in the voices of Abrams and his senior associates; such visiting officials as the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and a succession of often brilliant briefing officers. Later, of course, what they had won was thrown away by the United States Congress, but the story of their better war is still a dramatic testament to courage, integrity, devotion, and professional competence.--Lewis Sorley
This book differs from the great majority of Vietnam books by concentrating on the later years of the war.
Through a thorough analysis of America's command strategy under Abrams he shows how Americans came to understand the war as it was and fought much more effectively.
Sorley, however, backs it up with plenty of footnotes, a bibliography, an index and some very solid research.
As a scout helicopter pilot and having been in Vietnam during the time frames quoted by both U.S. and Vietnamese war leaders I can say that there is much truth in the book. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Terry Vraniak
I was reluctant to give this book only two stars, since Sorley is an excellent researcher and engaging writer. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kevin M. Boylan
An interesting book containing some interesting facts that comes to some interesting conclusions.
I suspect that the reality is that South Vietnam was most likely lost... Read more
For every reader of history of the Vietnam War, if you have not read this excellent book by Lewis Sorley, your understanding of the concept of victory in Vietnam is incomplete. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wild Turkey Hunter
This is a homage to late General Creighton Abrams, who took command of U.S. operations in Vietnam and presided over the "Vietnamization" of that war: a roughly 40-month period... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dave Todaro
A great history which clears up what happened for real back then I hope it opens discussion and allows all to see what could have beenPublished 10 months ago by gordon lord
Col. Sorely presents a very different view of history than the usual sloppy and, in most instances, wrong-headed treatment of a disgraceful period in the history of the USA. Read morePublished 11 months ago by James Hadstate