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Street Without Joy Hardcover – March 1, 1994
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"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek --Newsweek
"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek
"...A dramatic treatment of a historic event ... the vast panorama of the Indochina struggle emerges with graphic impact." -- The New York Times Book Review<br /><br />"A poignant, angry, articulate book . . ." --Newsweek --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
While many in Washington in the early 1960s claimed to have read this book, obviously, very few heeded its message. Had they done so, it would seem that the United States, despite all its arrogance, might have avoided the quagmire that Viet Nam became and the multitude of deaths that occurred as the result of our hubris.
Published in 1961 (more than 4 years before the beginning of the US build-up in SE Asia), Fall provided his readers with an exceptionally strong historical and political analysis of the region, its people and their leaders. Again, the Washington elite seemed to have disregarded the quality of the material and the skill of the messenger as they barged head-long into our longest and most divisive war. It was one that would ultimately cause America to question itself and to cause the American people to question the honesty and integrity of their leaders. That could have been avoided had more people heeded the message contained within the covers of Fall's outstanding treatise.
To be sure, Fall's loyalties were divided and often conflicted. Born and raised in France, he came to the USA after WW II to study. He first saw Viet Nam as a Fulbright scholar. He returned many times and became a recognized expert in the cultural, political and economic realities of the region.Read more ›
Lessons learned included the folly of employing heavy, road-bound, mechanized/armored forces that were highly vulnerable to Viet-Cong (VC) ambushes, effective use of the jungle as a sanctuary by the VC, underestimating the stamina of the VC, and the ultimate war-weariness that caused the French public to rebel at fighting a seemingly endless conflict for no tangible gain. Add to this, the close coordination of political and military objectives that caused the Viet-Cong to sacrifice people, places and things to achieve a single objective: A Vietnam united under Communism. Does this sound familiar? This book, published in 1961, was readily available in the U.S. If it was read, it was ignored.
Fall gives detailed accounts of communist tactics and the results that accrued to French commanders who refused to recognize the fact that, "the (tactics) book," they had been schooled under simply did not apply in Vietnam. Amazingly, the U.S. then deployed our troops to Vietnam, with our own officers schooled by the same, "book!" Gallantry, esprit-de-corp, machismo, and/or faith in a righteous cause were no more effective against well-laid ambushes in the `60s and `70s than they were in the `40s and `50s. The lessons of history were there for the reading. Why we refused to heed them is a mystery that still calls for an answer.
Street Without Joy is not a left-wing condemnation of western "imperialism," or, the evils of "intervention.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very interesting look at the Vietnam conflict from a different point of view. If you are interested in the Vietnam War and especially if you are interested in how we can learn... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Ron
A great read. And maybe if Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson had read it the American role in SEA might have been different.Published 2 months ago by JohnTBoland
Read this thrice before you decide it's a great idea to send our kids to fight in s*** holes like Iraq & Afghanistan!Published 4 months ago by Brian T. Smith
re-reading this for about the 4th time in the last 20 years. It is still relevant as an example of how western powers fail to understand non conventional warfare. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bryan A. Lane
Great read, unparalleled historical point of view around the entirety of the Indochina war and conflict in the region. Afterward adds some future perspective. Read morePublished 5 months ago by J J
When America's media began proclaiming that the United States military would do "counter insurgency" in Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever else in the 21st Century, it was not... Read morePublished 6 months ago by George N. Schmidt