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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
Sorley, however, backs it up with plenty of footnotes, a bibliography, an index and some very solid research.
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.
I finished reading "A Better War" by Lewis Sorley - it is subtitled "the unexamined victories and final tragedy of America's last years in Vietnam".
Even before I read this book, I didn't believe the standard media narrative about the Vietnam War (i.e. Read morePublished 20 days ago by K. Bullock
Lewis Sorley is in my humble opinion the closest thing that the Vietnam generation has to a Stephen Ambrose and I mean that as a high compliment. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sgt. Rock
I spent 10 monthe there, 67-68. Learned more from the book than when I was there. Better to read about than to experience!Published 6 months ago by Gene A. Miller
Learning different issues about war in SEA. Well written! Recommended reading for those interested in Viet Nam War,
Do yourself a favor and read this outstanding history of General Abrams
leadership after he took over from Westmoreland. Read more
In these pages I learned about a true American hero - General Creighton Abrams. I didn't know about him or his valorous contributions to America- but luckily I do now. Read morePublished 9 months ago by OsakaBop
I was there but this book fills in many gaps in my knowledge of the war. Many things were unexplained while happening.Published 10 months ago by Kermit Bell
The overall content of the book is an interesting read. As a Vietnam vet I find the tactical decisions, and indecisions, that stemmed from the political idiocy quite compelling. Read morePublished 15 months ago by AmeriVet13
Lewis Sorley's book brings forth the basics of the command of the Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam from 1968 to 1975. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Richard C. Geschke