Why Vietnam Matters
“It is, among other things, a wonderful read, full of detail and drama.” —George Packer, The New Yorker
Rufus Phillips offers an extraordinary inside history of the most critical years of American involvement in Vietnam, from 1954 to 1968, and explains why it still matters. Describing what went right and then wrong, he ﬁnds that our failure to understand the Communists, our South Vietnamese allies, or even ourselves took us down the wrong road of a conventional war until it was too late—we missed the war’s essential political character. Documenting the story from his own personal ﬁles, now available at the Texas Tech Vietnam Archive, as well as from the historical record, the former government ofﬁcial paints striking portraits of such key ﬁgures as John F. Kennedy, Maxwell Taylor, Robert McNamara, Henry Cabot Lodge, Hubert Humphrey, and Ngo Dinh Diem, among others with whom he dealt.