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Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States. The book provides many new insights into the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and demonstrates that the coup negated the South Vietnamese government's tremendous, and hitherto unappreciated, military and political gains between 1954 and 1963. After Diem's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson had at his disposal several aggressive policy options that could have enabled South Vietnam to continue the war without a massive US troop infusion, but he ruled out these options because of faulty assumptions and inadequate intelligence, making such an infusion the only means of saving the country.Read more
- Overturns most of the dominant interpretations of the Vietnam War
- Shows that the United States could have won the war
- Makes extensive use of previously untapped Vietnamese Communist sources
Reviews & endorsements
"Thoroughly researched and richly informative....A valuable appraisal."
- BooklistSee more reviews
"A radically revisionist account of America's policy in Vietnam during the years before combat troops were introduced. Based largely on archival sources and Communist histories of the war, this highly provocative work attacks virtually every aspect of what Moyar calls the 'orthodox' historical interpretations of the war."
- Library Journal
"This first installment in a two-volume project may well become the preeminent work in [revisionist history]…Moyar, who has strong credentials (a Cambridge PhD), has an engaging writing style and supports his arguments with dispassionate research… Highly recommended." - Choice
"A revisionist history that challenges the notion that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was misguided; defends the validity of the domino theory and disputes the notion that Ho Chi Minh was, at heart, a nationalist who would eventually turn against his Communist Chinese allies."
- Chronicle of Higher Education
"...this is an important book, a history that serves as a mirror on the present."
- Wall Street Journal
"The book is meticulously documented; it draws on the substantial U.S. documentary record of the war, bringing fresh perspectives to familiar evidence. Moyar augments and supports his analysis with extensive use of North Vietnamese archival material, most of which was unavailable to the orthodox historians of the 1970s and 80s. In sum, Triumph Forsaken is an important book...."
- National Review
"A brilliant young scholar with a Cambridge doctorate who is currently teaching at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Moyar is representative of a small but increasingly influential revisionist school that rejects the fundamental orthodox premise that America's involvement in Vietnam was wrongheaded and unjust.... No review can do full justice to this critically important book. Triumph Forsaken is meticulously documented and bold in its interpretation of the record. Even orthodox historians will be forced to acknowledge the magnitude of Moyar's scholarly achievement. It should, at the least, reopen the debate about America's Vietnam enterprise, reminding us that countries are not destined to win or lose wars. Victory or defeat depends on decisions actually made and strategies actually implemented."
- Weekly Standard, Mackubin Thomas Owens
"Orthodox Vietnam historians, Moyar writes, tend to dismiss revisionists as politically motivated, since the issues surrounding the war, in their view, have long since been settled… Triumph Forsaken throws down a mighty challenge to orthodox historians; they should engage Moyar instead of ignoring him. As they ought to know, truth is its own reward, but it can also be damn practical."
- The American Spectator, Paul Beston
"...impressive and scrupulously researched revisionist history....Moyar's controversial investigation will be challenged by many of the well-respected scholars he confronts in his authoritative account, which elevates the arguments of Vietnam War revisionists to a higher, more respected, level."
"...[Moyar] has done extensive and careful research in newly available primary sources such as North Vietnamese histories of the conflict. The result is a valuable revisionist study that rejects much of the conventional wisdom about our early involvement in the conflict."
- New York Sun, Guenter Lewy
"[Moyar's] is a complex and well-written account that set the bar high for scholarship. It is essential reading for anyone wanting a fresh understanding of one of America's longest and misunderstood conflicts."
- Marine Corp Gazette
"Moyar's work is an excellent modern read on the Viet-Nam War."
"The well-researched analysis of policies runs deep, but there's also military analysis and accounts of important military action. This is revisionist history at its best."
-Christian Nelson, VietNow
"The most noteworthy aspect of Triumph Forsaken is surely the depth and range of its research… Taking him at his word – that he set out to redo the history of the war on the basis of primary sources ‘rather than another’s filtration and interpretation’ of them – Moyar has provided those who take their history seriously with a stunning performance, and plenty to think about.”
- Times Literary Supplement
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- Date Published: March 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521757638
- length: 552 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 156 x 28 mm
- weight: 0.77kg
- contains: 14 b/w illus. 4 maps
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
2. Two Vietnams: July 1954–December 1955
3. Peaceful coexistence:
6. Rejuvenation: January–June 1962
7. Attack: July–December 1962
8. The battle of Ap Bac: January 1963
9. Diem on trial: February–July 1963
10. Betrayal: August 1963
11. Self-destruction: September–November 2, 1963
12. The return of the twelve warlords: November 3–December 1963
13. Self-imposed restrictions: January–July 1964
14. Signals: August–October 1964
15. Invasion: November–December 1964
16. The prize for victory: January–May 1965
17. Decision: June–July 1965.
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