An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned
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Published:August 15, 2017
By Rufus Phillips (Author)

Author Rufus Phillips is featured in the Ken Burns' documentary, The Vietnam Warwhich premiered September 17, 2017, on PBS.

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. 

PRESS RELEASE: "Why Vietnam Matters: An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned" by Rufus Phillips by Naval Institute Press on Scribd



List Price: $24.95
Member Price: $19.96
Product Details
  • Subject: Vietnam War
  • Paperback : 448 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (August 15, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1682473104
  • ISBN-13: 9781682473108
  • Product Dimensions: 7 X 10 in
  • Shipping Weight: 28.32 oz
  • “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
  • “‘This is an inside history of what really happened in Vietnam and why it matters.’ …That’s the first line of one of the most important books on the early history of the Vietnam War.” —The VVA Veteran
  • “Phillips’ extensive firsthand knowledge of personalities and events make Why Vietnam Matters an important work for anyone interested in understanding the Vietnam War and the broader issue of American military intervention abroad.” —Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs
  • "The Timing couldn't be better for the paperback release of Rufus Phillips' first hand account of the Vietnam War... it coincides with the release of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick PBS series on the war (in which Phillips appears), and with recent decisions about how long we should stay in Afghanistan and to what end." —The Foreign Service Journal
  • "The book provides not only a detailed assessment of the war, but also a useful summary that encapsulates the various lessons learned from the conflict." —Military Heritage
  • “A brilliant book! … Naval Institute Press have done a first rate job with [Phillips] book … It shows very clearly and concisely why the United States failed so dismally in Korea, Vietnam and, subsequently, in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere.” —Ausmarine
  • "Why Vietnam Matters, which Phillips started writing 25 years ago, may be the very last personal account that gives an eyewitness depiction of events during the crucial early years of the war. What Phillips has to say is nothing short of fascinating." —HistoryNet
  • “If you want to know why Vietnam matters, read this brilliant memoir and find out why those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to make the same mistakes.” —JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young
  • “In the flood of books on every aspect of the Vietnam War, this is one that will endure as among the most valuable, accurate, and important.” —LEWIS SORLEY, author of A Better War

Rufus Phillips spent much of his time over a fourteen-year period in South Vietnam as an Army officer, CIA case officer, USAID counterinsurgency official, and State Department consultant. He helped monitor the 2009 Afghan elections. He also provided counterinsurgency advice to the U.S. embassy in Kabul. He was inducted into the U.S. Army OCS Hall of Fame in 2014 and appears in Ken Burns’ 2017 documentary film series, The Vietnam War.

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Why Vietnam Matters
Author Rufus Phillips willbe featured in the upcoming Ken Burns' documentary, The Vietnam...Read More
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