The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam During the Kennedy Era

The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam During the Kennedy Era


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Pulitzer-prize winning author David Halberstam's eyewitness account provides a riveting narrative of how the United States created a major foreign policy disaster for itself in a faraway land it knew little about. In the introduction to this edition, historian Daniel J. Singal supplies crucial background information that was unavailable in the mid-1960s when the book was written. With its numerous firsthand recollections of life in the war zone, The Making of a Quagmire penetrates to the essence of what went wrong in Vietnam. Although its focus is the Kennedy era, its analysis of the blunders and misconceptions of American military and political leaders holds true for the entire war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742560086
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/09/2007
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 325,572
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.09(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

David Halberstam (1934–2007) was the author of 20 books, the last 14 of which have been national best-sellers. His most recent book, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, is about the Chinese entry into the Korean War. He was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Vietnam and was a member of the elective Society of American Historians.

Date of Birth:

April 10, 1934

Date of Death:

April 23, 2007

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

San Francisco, California


B.A., Harvard, 1955

Table of Contents

Part I: Edging Toward Calamity: Vietnam in the Early 1960s
Chapter 1: Coming into a Troubled Land
Chapter 2: Latter-Day Mandarins: The Ngo Family
Chapter 3: A Strange Alliance: The Americans and Diem
Part II: The War in the Delta
Chapter 4: In the Field with the ARVN
Chapter 5: Finding an Elusive Foe
Chapter 6: Disaster: The Battle of Ap Bac
Chapter 7: Collapse in the Delta
Part III: The Fall of the Diem Regime
Chapter 8: The Buddhist Revolt Begins
Chapter 9: The Raid on the Pagodas
Chapter 10: A Slow Change in American Policy
Chapter 11: The Saigon Press Controversy
Chapter 12: The Final Days of Ngo Dinh Diem
Chapter 13: What Should Be Done in Vietnam?
Epilogue: Return to Vietnam

What People are Saying About This

Robert Dallek

As it did in 1965, Halberstam's book will provoke vigorous discussion. Readers will marvel at how the United States allowed itself to be so misled in South Vietnam and will use the book to make connections to more recent events in the Middle East.

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The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam During the Kennedy Era 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
carterchristian1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anyone wanting to understand the American involvement in Vietnam should read this book. Halberstam was there reporting at the beginning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago