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JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
That time was cut short by the demonstrable suppression of the book by its publisher, Warner Books. After first surviving a very serious threat of intervention to block publication by a federal agency, within five months JFK and Vietnam was pulled from the shelves, found to be unavailable for purchase anywhere, and left its author unable to communicate with the publisher’s representatives. They stopped returning his calls. Not since the Pentagon Papers had there been such an attempt to deny the American public access to a book about Vietnam. Without a serendipitous encounter between the author and a distinguished member of a distinguished American family, the story of the book itself might well have ended as abruptly as it began. It is our very good fortune that the story did not end there: the publisher returned the legal rights of the book to its author, and 25 years later we have JFK and Vietnam, second edition.
JFK and Vietnam, second edition, should be publicized and promoted so that every student, every teacher, every citizen who volunteers for military service, and every aspiring politician will know the many false calculations, mistakes, manipulations, deceptions and intrigue which led to the Vietnam War. This essential work examines in detail the Shakespearean machinations of deception and counter-deception that took shape in the hidden maneuverings of a president who was determined to avoid being trapped and determined to never again repeat the mistakes of the Bay of Pigs. Dr. Newman documents President Kennedy’s navigation of a dangerous course through Cold War hot spots and a very divided administration. What eventually emerges is an astonishingly dishonorable deception: a deliberate attempt to manipulate the President of the United States to authorize a war policy to which he was fundamentally opposed.
This is more than JFK and Vietnam. It is JFK and Laos; JFK and the Pentagon; JFK and the CIA; JFK and the National Security establishment as it evolved during the years preceding his election. The president recognized and responded to a clever adversary during the two years, ten months and two days of his administration, which acted—within 48 hours of his violent death in Dallas—to reverse his policy on Vietnam and throw America headlong into the tragic war that ensued.
Five stars. Highest recommendation.
Newman, however, provides a balanced analysis regarding Kennedy's decision making by discussing the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of this policy that was adrift throughout much of his administration. Much of this can be attributed to the treacherous deception that his military advisors engaged in to encourage Kennedy to invest more advisors and equipment that further enmeshed our nation in the quagmire that Vietnam would eventually become. Kennedy while making concessions courageously held his ground that he was not going to Americanize the war by introducing combat troops. By November of 1961, as set forth in NSAM 111, the military grudgingly accepted the fact that Kennedy was not going to send U.S. ground forces into Vietnam. Their hope by mid 1962 as Kennedy began to implement his withdraw plan was to maintain our presence there until after the 1964 election with the anticipation that a Republican's candidate would be elected. It was their firm belief that a Republican president would be more amendable to their recommendations to save Southeast Asia from the communists. This hope as 1963 unfolded slowly faded as they began to realize that Kennedy's policies were gaining popularity and his approval rating remained relatively high.
This book is the definitive account of the deception, intrigue and power struggle between Kennedy and his national security team over Vietnam. It was a tremendous achievement and an act of courage by Newman to submit his original manuscript at a time when the prevailing orthodoxy by the corporate media, the public, our intelligence agencies and many historians was that Kennedy was a traditional cold warrior that accepted the political dogmas of the time that demanded that U.S. combat forces would eventually be required to save Southeast Asia from the communists.