Why Vietnam Matters

An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned

  • Subject: General Military & Naval History | Vietnam War
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Published:
    August 15, 2017
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    7 × 10 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    24 oz
Softcover $24.95
Member Price $19.96 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


“Phillips’s short chapter on lessons the U.S. should have learned from the Vietnam War should be mandatory reading in Washington, D.C.” — Publishers Weekly

“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.

About the Author