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America's Miracle Man in Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race, and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia (American Encounters/Global Interactions)

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0822334408
ISBN-10: 0822334402
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Seth Jacobs makes a seminal contribution to the study of the origins of American involvement in Vietnam. Combining prodigious research in a rich variety of primary sources, a sophisticated conceptual framework that illuminates the intersection of high politics and popular culture, and an especially engaging writing style, Jacobs fundamentally recasts how we view this critical period in the history of the Vietnam wars and the Cold War.”—Mark Bradley, author of Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919–1950


“Seth Jacobs’s interesting and provocative argument adds a new interpretation to the massive literature on the United States and the path toward full deployment in Vietnam. Jacobs writes with a lively, punchy style that makes his work both entertaining and instructive.”—Michael Latham, author of Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and ‘Nation Building’ in the Kennedy Era

From the Back Cover

"Seth Jacobs's interesting and provocative argument adds a new interpretation to the massive literature on the United States and the path toward full deployment in Vietnam. Jacobs writes with a lively, punchy style that makes his work both entertaining and instructive."--Michael Latham, author of "Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and 'Nation Building' in the Kennedy Era"
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Product Details

  • Series: American Encounters/Global Interactions
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (January 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822334402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822334408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,394,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In Miracle Man, Mr. Jacobs casts a critical eye not only on Diem but also on American culture, including its racial perspectives, at the time. With detailed backgrounds about the US Operation Passage to Freedom and more, his research about the mom-and-apple-pie political support created for Diem is very important to understanding our initial involvement with that government.

Unfortunately, by quickly offering "Cold War Mandarin" shortly thereafter, Mr. Jacobs sort of retracts his scalding critiques of America in order to simply lambaste Diem and conform to the traditional US narratives of the period, presumably for better book sales. Although slightly more colorful and non-academic, this book is a much better contribution from Jacobs, and recommended.
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Format: Paperback
The book’s extensive and diverse bibliography is crucial its validity, value and strength. By drawing on many secondary sources such as magazine and newspaper articles, films and books, he is able to better support his position. Overall, the book is well-structured, organized and logical. Jacobs seems to have addressed the issue in its entirety with strong opinions of his own. Considering its clarity and uncomplicated style, anyone interested in U.S. foreign relation would enjoy reading this book. It can be considered a valuable piece of literature to for secondary, undergraduate and even graduate students and I would recommend it to all levels.

Jacobs is successful in achieving his purpose in writing this book, as he is able to persuade the reader and give a complete understanding of the events described, with very convincing opinions and arguments. He makes it quite clear that the United States of America had a monumental part in Ngo Dinh Diem coming into power in South Vietnam, and does so by presenting new theories which previously had not been explored by scholars.
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