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An Overview of The Vietnam War in The Eyes of Mark Lawrence Atwood

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Mark Lawrence Atwood is presently Director of graduate studies at the Clements centre for national security in Austin at the University of Texas. An associate professor of history and distinguished fellow at the Roberts Strauss centre for international law and security.

Mark Atwood received his bachelor of arts from Stanford University in 1988 and obtained his doctorate from Yale in the year 1999. Since joining the University of Texas, department of history in 2000, the author has published two history books: The Vietnam War: A concise international history (2008) and Assuming the burden: Europe and the American commitment to war in Vietnam (2005).

In this history book, Mark Lawrence goes through centuries of efforts in the small south eastern nation. The author starts with the Trung sisters’ 1st century struggle to kick off Chinese dominance, to outline how America, in the Vietnamese perceptive, was now another in a long line of eventually overwhelmed enemies.[1] The author finds the Trung sister’s divine inheritor in Ho Chi Minh, a socialist activist who stated the independence declaration prior to finding himself in battle with an American supported South Vietnamese uprising.[2] This books stands up to its reachable billing and brief nature, although generally there is slight information as regards the other major “war” players, China, the soviet union, and France; by far an American centred story, the narration is based on main United states occurrences from the Tonkin Gulf resolution in 1964 to the falling of the American Embassy in 1975.[3] The author shines in outlining how Johnson Lyndon followed by Nixon and then Kissinger struggled in vain to seek an acceptable reason to pull out. With a validation that modern readers see familiar, the three leaders repetitively emphasized that pulling out without victory would result in shame before the world and strengthen their enemies.[4] From the book, Lawrence points out that the opposite is eventually what occurred and America’s popularity decreased further the longer the Americans fought. More so, neither communism nor North Vietnam prospered following Americas pulling out.

The author points out that the opposite happened. America’s popularity plunged the longer they fought in the war, and recovered afterward. Neither North Vietnam nor communism prospered following their withdrawal. Additionally, the book precisely takes into consideration both the short-term and the long-terms origins of the battle. The author analysis the growth of Vietnamese communism in the early 20th century and shows how cold war uneasiness of the 1940s and early 50s initiated the course of the United States on the path of intervention. Certainly, the book primarily covers the “American war,” which ranges from the overthrowing of South Vietnamese President Diem Dinh to the effects of the Tet odious on American public judgment, the expansion of war into Laos and Cambodia by Richard Nixon, Lyndon’s pulling out from the 1968 presidential contest, and the challenging peace agreement of 1973, that eventually concluded American military participation.[5]


The book surveys the difficult outcome of the battle its lasting heritage in American film, books, and political discussions, in addition to Vietnams fight with intense economic and social tribulations. Lawrence narration is a solid and convincing briefing on a strongly important subject; this is definitely a carefully researched and very audience engaging volume on a helpful outline of the Vietnam War.

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