From Publishers Weekly
U.S. policymakers went to war in Vietnam and Iraq," writes Brigham, "with the expectation that a distinctively American story would emerge." In this brief and potent analysis of current American foreign policy, the Vassar College history and international relations professor bolsters his conclusions about the many similarities and decisive differences between these two military efforts with precise factual details and his ability to discern the vital trends underlying them. There are startling parallels here—many of Johnson's older Cold War advisers warned that Vietnam War costs would put the U.S. in "a serious financial crisis." But while Vietnam War critics took to the streets, Brigham observes that contemporary political dissent is "primarily through public opinion polls." Though a critic of the administration's Iraq policy, he's sensitive to nuance, noting that despite deep partisan differences, Congress gave both Lyndon Johnson and George Bush "broad presidential authority to use any means necessary" to act. He also gives serious consideration to the differences between a military composed of draftees and volunteers, speculating that today's returning veterans will denounce current policy and military actions. Brigham has produced a deftly written, well-argued polemic that's unlikely to sway staunch supporters of current policy, but may affect those in the center of the debate. (Sept.)
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"A short, readable analysis... Brigham brings clarity to his analysis of these significant, long-reverberating conflicts." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"As an exercise limning the limits and possibilities of historical analogy, Brigham's book is impeccable." -- Providence Journal
"[Brigham] explores the similarities and the differences between the two wars in an informed and thoughtful manner." -- Foreign Affairs