The Road Not Taken
Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in VietnamBook - 2018
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIn chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War.
In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908– 1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a “hearts and mind” diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America’s giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to neverbefore-seen documents—including long-hidden love letters—Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish “T. E. Lawrence of Asia” from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975. Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called “ugly American,” this “engrossing biography” (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.
Baker & Taylor
In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, the author aims to reframe readers' understanding of the Vietnam War. By the New York Times best-selling author of Invisible Armies.
This accessible biography of Edward Lansdale, an American agent of covert operations in Vietnam, draws on letters, interviews, and recently declassified documents. While the book covers his early years, focus is on his role in the Vietnam War and his relationship with South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. with discussion centering on the fact that Lansdale argued (unsuccessfully) against CIA and American policy and strategy that engineered the US-backed overthrow of Diem. The plain-language, descriptive narrative will appeal to students and general readers, while the book’s detailed analysis will satisfy scholars. B&w historical photos are included. Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
A biography of the CIA operative chronicles his rise and fall as a proponent of a visionary "hearts and minds" diplomacy in Vietnam who was ultimately overruled by the American military bureaucracy, which favored bombs and troop build-ups over winning the people's trust.
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we mostly sought to destroy enemy forces. The enemy sought to gain control of the people.
Saigon a veteran American diplomat noted, was a confused, chaotic political environment where yes often meant no and the best staff work in the world could become meaningless over night.
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