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None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam Hardcover – August 28, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
I mention these books in part to emphasize that George Allen has produced a book that will stand the test of time and should be regarded as an exceptional historical, policy, intelligence, and public administration case study. It is truly humbling and sobering to read such a calm, complete, and broad treatment of the history of both American intelligence in relation to Viet-Nam, and the consistent manner in which policy-makers refused to listen to accurate intelligence estimates, while their Generals and Ambassadors steadfastly "cooked the books." The manipulation of truth from the Saigon end, and the refusal to listen to truth on the Washington end, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, Vietnamese, Loatian, Cambodian, and American, as well as allied nationalities.
This book is gripping. I could not put it down. It is one of the most serious personal accounts I have ever read where the vivid realities of intelligence, ignorance, and policy come together.Read more ›
With first-hand knowledge -- not just reading from second-hand sources or going through one general's papers -- George Allen describes what happened in Vietnam from before Dien Bien Phu through the fall of Saigon. He has detailed information on the US side, and informed accounts of what the North Vietnamese strategy was. He introduces us to the personalities and events so important to the way Vietnam happened, all in a very engaging and readable style.
One of the most fascinating parts of the book is the listing of the many times the US took action without a full examination of the complete situation. Allen writes, "In foreign affairs and national security matters, there is no substitute for thorough, conscientious, and objective analysis of all the factors bearing on a decision, of alternative courses of action, and of a weighing of the consequences -- domestic as well as foreign -- of all the options available." This was rarely done in Vietnam.Read more ›
Mr. Allen, a top official with the CIA during the Vietnam war, shares his experiences, insights and perspectives as to "the intelligence failure" in the war. Based on Mr. Allen's account, the real intelligence failure was on the part of the military and political leaders of the time; they simply refused to lend any credence at all to any intelligence that didn't tell them what they had already determined they wanted to hear.
This book will make you angry at times as you read of the author's continued frustration at people either ignoring his message or "killing the messenger". This is a very well-written book. I would consider it essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Vietnam, the war, or the politics of that era.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
BEST. Some of this stuff made my head explode, other parts I knew but could not confirm. It is sometimes very hard to find early war information.Published 6 months ago by Ann Jamison
An interesting book for anyone who has had direct experience with both the Vietnam war and the intelligence process. Read morePublished 17 months ago by DickB
While not an expert on the Vietnam War academically speaking, I have an abiding interest in what Vietnam was, is and will be. Read morePublished on November 23, 2012 by Charles A. Krohn
This is altogether an extraordinary book by an extraordinary author. It is nothing less than the history of the evolution of U.S. Read morePublished on November 25, 2006 by Retired Reader
'There's none so blind as those who won't see,' is a proverb that has proven itself over and over in life. And in the area of critical military intelligence it is a deadly proverb. Read morePublished on November 21, 2006 by John Matlock
This is an exceptional book, absolutely required reading for the history of the Vietnam War since 1950 but also for the foreign policy decisionmaking process in general. A classic! Read morePublished on October 30, 2003 by 100%
None So Blind provides a personal account of the intelligence failure in Vietnam by an ex-CIA intelligence official who documents who intelligence appraisals of the situation were... Read morePublished on December 13, 2001 by Midwest Book Review