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Triumph Forsaken
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  • 14 b/w illus. 4 maps
  • Page extent: 552 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.93 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521869119 | ISBN-10: 0521869110)

Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken, first published in 2007, 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 insights into the overthrow of South Vietnamese President 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.

• 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


Preface; 1. Heritage; 2. Two Vietnams: July 1954–December 1955; 3. Peaceful coexistence: 1956–9; 4. Insurgency: 1960; 5. Commitment: 1961; 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.


'The most noteworthy aspect of Triumph Forsaken is surely the depth and range of its research … Moyar has provided those who take their history seriously with a stunning performance, and plenty to think about.' James M. Murphy, The Times Literary Supplement

'… one of the most important books ever written on the Vietnam War.' Mackubin Thomas Owens, The Weekly Standard

'… akin to reading Euripides' tales of self-inflicted woe and missed chances.' Victor Davis Hanson, City Journal

'… a brilliant analysis.' Lewis Sorley, Joint Force Quarterly

'… definitive …' Guenter Lewy, New York Sun

'… a landmark contribution …' Robert F. Turner, Historically Speaking

'Moyar makes so many striking contrarian arguments that one hardly knows where to begin. … This is an important book, a history that serves as a mirror on the present.' Robert H. Scales, Wall Street Journal

'… thought provoking, exhaustively researched, highly organized, and above all, outstanding.' Rick Baillergeon, History

'Moyar, who has strong credentials, has an engaging writing style and supports his arguments with dispassionate research, unlike many earlier revisionists' works … Highly recommended.' Michael O'Donnell, Choice

'Thoroughly researched and richly informative … A valuable appraisal.' George Cohen, Booklist

'Better late than never.' Stuart Herrington, Parameters

'… [a] definitive examination … It is essential reading for anyone wanting a fresh understanding of one of America's longest and most misunderstood conflicts.' Charles Melson, Marine Corps Gazette

'Mark Moyar has amply demonstrated the courage of his convictions in this outstanding piece of work, undoubtedly the most important book on Vietnam since Guenter Lewy's America in Vietnam, which sheds important light on the years between the French defeat in Indochina and the beginning of the main US commitment to South East Asia.' The Royal Society for Asian Affairs

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