STANLEY KARNOW: VIETNAM: A HISTORY
Karnow has an excellent section (pages 703-720) containing biographical sketches on the "Cast of Principal Characters." His extensive chronology is wonderful, too (see pages 686-702). Karnow has made a fine choice of photos. Please look carefully at each of them and read their captions.

Chapter 1: The War Nobody Won
This chapter summarizes much of the book. During the semester, we will cycle back to many of these issues.
14 Last paragraph
18 Policy of minimum candor
25 Small nations must be wary of Americans
33-34 War is war. But why was Vietnam so destructive?
39 VC agents: Pham Xuan and Pham Ngoc Thao
42 Reeducation centers
43 Little Saigon; Amerasian children; Boat people (one million)
49 Hospitality of Vietnamese to American visitors
52 Soviets cut off aid to Vietnam

Chapter 2: Piety and Power
This chapter summarizes the competition between French imperialism and Vietnamese nationalism. Note the complexity of the various factions in France as well as the numerous factions within Vietnam. America will confront a similar complexity.
71 Role of Catholic Church in colonizing Indochina.
72 Alexander de Rhodes: simplified script for Vietnamese language
88 Middle paragraph particularly
95 French expansionism
96 Colonial policy the daughter of industrial policy
97 Protectorate or possession [compare similar arguments over Philippines]
100 Indochinese Union

Chapter 3: The Heritage of Vietnamese Nationalism
Try to get a sense of how old Vietnam is, who its heroes are, and its prior relationship to China.
101 Picture of Trieu Au (heroine from 3d century A.D.)
109 First paragraph represents beautiful writing by Karnow.
Ho Chi Minh [Nguyen Ai Quoc]
Take from the West versus be dominated by the West
110 Comparative influences of India and China
112 Trung sisters as national heroines; role of women in Vietnam
113 Role of Tran Hung Dao as symbol (1287 A.D.)
115 Role of Le Loi
118 Vietnam never was entirely unified
119-21 Prior "insurgencies"
130 French intransigence
130-138 Biographical material: Ho Chi Minh

Chapter 4: The War with the French
What could we have learned from the French war against the Vietminh? Why did we not learn these lessons?
147 What does it mean to compare Ho to Tito of Yugoslavia?
148 U.S. State Dept: Far East section versus European section
149 U.S. role in Indochina in WWII
OSS Deer Team. What was the OSS?
U.S. perception of Ho Chi Minh
152-153 Vo Nguyen Giap: embraced French culture; resisted colonialism
160 Ngo Dinh Diem
Famine
169 Ho's agreement with the French
175 French domestic politics influenced Indochina policy

Chapter 5: The Light That Failed
Get an overall sense of how the French fought their war against the Vietminh: strategy; generals; battles.
184 Context: Communism/Containment/China/McCarthy/Korea
187 Bao Dai; mandate of heaven; comparison to Ho Chi Minh
194 Role of Dean Rusk in early stages of U.S. policy toward Vietnam
202 Jaunissement. role of allies. comparison to Vietnamization.
204-214 Battle of Dienbienphu. One of the major battles in 20th c.
215-221 Geneva Conference. What players; what positions; results
Vietminh lost out—in their view.

Chapter 6: America's Mandarin
What is a mandarin. Follow the trail of Ngo Dinh Diem and his family as they rule over South Vietnam. Who are his adversaries: domestic, Vietminh remnants, who else
244 How could one stay neutral
246 Agrovilles
250-251 Diem's manipulative maneuvering
255 North forms National Liberation Front

Chapter 7: Vietnam is the Place
Prochnau's book focuses on this period. Get a sense of the precedent of Laos: how we almost got involved there, what model it provided for Vietnam.
272 Strategic hamlets
275 Helicopters
276-279 Battle of Ap Bac.
John Paul Vann. Role of American advisors
282-283 Madame Nhu

Chapter 8: The End of Diem
Prochnau's book coordinates with this chapter, too. What drove the U.S. to want to be rid of Diem?
294 Buddhism/Confucianism/Christianity
295 Buddhist protests; monk burns himself
297 Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge
298 Lucien Conein
302-303 Hilsman cable
312 Madame Nhu on speaking tour of U.S. at the time

Chapter 9: The Commitment Deepens
VanDeMark's book coordinates with this material. Situation worsens for the South Vietnamese. Contrast how the private and public assessments of American visitors often differ.
335-338 LBJ; his fear of right-wing reaction
342 U.S. Senators express concern: Russell, Mansfield
North Vietnam has its own problems: Soviet Union versus PRC
347-349 Ho Chi Minh trail
358 War of Liberation
Draft issue on both sides
361 Westmoreland; Maxwell Taylor; "Best and the Brightest"

Chapter 10: Disorder and Decision
VanDeMark's book goes along with this chapter.
372-392 Read all of this, but make sure you catch the following:
372 Goldwater threat in 1964 presidential election
379 Air America
Studies and Observations Group (SOG)
380 DeSoto missions
384 Tonkin Gulf incident
390 Tonkin Gulf Resolution
393-394 Read carefully this excellent summary material
399 Difficulty of dealing with our South Vietnamese allies
400-401 Amazing paragraph

Chapter 11: LBJ Goes to War
411-412 LBJ wins 1964 presidential election; his views on Vietnam
429 VP Humphrey cut out of discussions: not "on the team"
431 Bomb tonnage dropped on North Vietnam
433 Rival services competed for a share of the action
436 Interesting advisory role of Abe Fortas—"kitchen cabinet"
437 Song Be: Phuoc Long Province—where I spent most of my time

Chapter 12: Escalation
Note particularly the picture of the bicycles used to move material down the Ho Chi Minh trail.
450-457 U.S. build-up
458-459 U.S. as neocolonialists; South Vietnamese as "puppets"
467-478 View of the war from the North Vietnamese perspective
479-487 The experience of the "grunt" [compare to Appy's book]

Chapter 13: Debate, Diplomacy, and Doubt
Role of battlefield success versus negotiating strategy. How could U.S. win: attrition not working. How to negotiate: use of bombing as a variable.
504-505 Little official internal resistance to U.S. policy at this time.
516-520 What doubts are U.S. leaders having?

Chapter 14: Tet
This is a pivotal moment in the U.S. public perception of the war.
536-540 Excellent summary material about the Tet fighting
547 Tet was a military disaster for the Viet Cong; Phoenix program
548-550 What the North Vietnamese hoped to accomplish at Tet
551 Song Be
552-555 Khe Sanh.
558-562 Results of Tet
568-569 Clark Clifford's doubts
572-581 Shifts in political landscape

Chapter 15: Nixon's War
Catch the importance of Nixon's victory in the 1968 presidential election. As a new president (and a Republican), he is better positioned to shift our policy than LBJ could have. Also note the increasing role of Henry Kissinger.
598 Nixon plays off the Soviets against the PRC
608-609 Vietnamization
625-627 Kent State

Chapter 16: The Peace That Never Was
I have elected to spend more time on the events leading up to America's participation in Vietnam than to the elongated peace process. This chapter deals with the attempts of the U.S. to conclude a "peace with honor" in Vietnam. No reading assignments for this chapter.