The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam

The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam

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In 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.

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Title:The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780871409416
Format Type:PDF | Epub | Mobi | iBook

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    The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam Reviews

  • Steven Z.

    The popularity of the new film, “The Post” has refocused the attention of many people on the PENTAGON PAPERS and the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg’s leak of the history of the war commissioned by...

  • Hadrian

    Only a man could climb a ladder, and yet I couldn't think of it as a man like myself—it was as though an animal were moving in to kill, very quietly and certainly with the remorselessness of another...

  • D?c??r

    Splendid!...

  • David C Ward

    Quite good. A biography of the legendary counter insurgent Lansdale that is also a history and critique of American foreign policy. Could the war in Vietnam have ended differently if Lansdale had had ...

  • Steve

    A very interesting book. Someone I never heard of before and this book peaked my interest. I have read books on the Vietnam War and read such classics as Harold Moore's We Were Soldiers Once and Young...

  • Dean

    Just more confirmation of the tragedy of wasted blood and treasure in Vietnam. Lansdale another dissenting voice ignored about how to fight and win a counter insurgency. Think we still would have lost...

  • Michael Ting

    Engrossing and very much a page-turner. ...

  • Barry Fowler

    History at its best.Max Boot is a great writer of History. Thorough coverage of the subject and great documentation. B. Fowler, Combat Infantry Officer in Vietnam....

  • Pete Zilla

    In wonderful biography and an interesting study on what to do and what not to do as a diplomat... ...