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Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam (Cold War International History Project) Hardcover – January 11, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Cold War International History Project
  • Hardcover: 936 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (January 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804778841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804778848
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Marigold offers unprecedented attention to the ICC, its members, and its internal dynamics . . . One cannot question Hershberg's intimate knowledge of the wide range of characters one encounters in this book."—George Dutton, Journal of Asian Studies

"James Hershberg has produced a truly admirable work of diplomatic history that will undoubtedly stand as the definitive account of the courageous but unsuccessful joint Polish-Italian effort to bring Hanoi and Washington to the negotiating table in 1966 and bring the Vietnam War to an early end. It is a major feat that the author was able to discover such a substantive, original subject matter in the crowded field of Vietnam War scholarship, and the favourable attention this work has drawn is well-deserved . . . Marigold is essential reading for advanced students and professors of the Vietnam War, the Cold War in Asia, and peace history/conflict resolution studies."—Sean J. McLaughlin, Canadian Journal of History

"James G. Hershberg's book is a valuable addition to the discourse that the Vietnam conflict was far more complicated than originally assumed. . . Hershberg traces Marigold from its inception to the end in minute detail, using archival evidence from numerous countries and interviews of key individuals. His research is not only revealing on marigold but sheds further light on the international dimensions of the Vietnam War."—Eugenie M. Blang, American Historical Review

"[Marigold] is, in short, the very best kind of scholarship in international history . . . Historians of the Vietnam War, and the Cold War more broadly, will learn much from this remarkably fresh and revealing historical account."—Andrew Preston, International Affairs

"Hershberg superbly details a singular event of a highly controversial era—the Vietnam conflict . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

About the Author

James Hershberg is Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University. He was the founding director of the Wilson Center's Cold War International History Project and author of James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age (Stanford University Press, 1995).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mark bennett on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a long, mostly well written book on an attempt at 1966 by various international diplomats to broker direct talks between the US and Vietnam. He covers the issues with a great degree of depth and its a fair history of the events in question. Its command of sources and depth of citations are both very good.

But there is a problem. The author and the book stray away from the history of the events into wishful thinking about their meaning and speculation about what could have been accomplished.

The facts are that "Marigold" could, at best, have led simply to direct talks a couple years earlier between the US and Vietnam. But direct talks don't imply any particular outcome. And the idea that direct talks in 1966 would have led to peace when they didn't in 1968 is probably wishful thinking.

The position of North Vietnam was always clear. The only peace they were interested in was a "neutral" coliation government in the south, the withdrawal of the US and the continued presence of their army in the south. That sort of exit strategy was always available and it was available long before 1966. Its not even certain that reaching such an agreement would have had to have involved North Vietnam.

At the end of the book, the author lets loose with all sorts of speculative history. There would have been domestic peace. Johnson would have been easily re-elected with Robert Kennedy following on as President in 1972 with everyone marching into a Great Society Utopia. His thinking contains some obvious mistakes. The strategy of focusing on Beijing was not available to Johnson because China was caught up in the xenophobic chaos of the cultural revolution.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This brillently written tragic story shows a side of the Vietnam conflict, in which historians know little about
The Polish and Italian attempt as proxies for the Chinese and us to mediate and avoid the nightmare things became. Why Johnson couldn't relax and the North Vietnamese couldn't back away from their allies, we know a little bit more about that.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By alan j on October 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
For any in-depth student of the vietnam war and the immediate years leading up to say 1965---this is a very EDUCATIONAL piece of being old enough to remember this period of history and serving in vietnam,i did not know all the behind the scenes wrangling going on in poland, ussr, canada, n. vietnam. vietnam, HO CHI MINH, and even china--was going on. If it was not for this book i still would not have known. It is a difficult book to read, very detailed and in depth. someone not from that era, that was not familiar with the world politic and the world leaders and negotiators at the time may have difficulty staying with it. But in fact, the death of 58,000 of our nations BEST,was so close sooooo many times during this era to being avoided. Its an absolute shame.
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