Book ID: CBB696173225

The Road not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam (2018)


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. (Worldcat)

Reviewed By

Review John Cirafici (Fall 2018) Review of "The Road not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam". Air Power History (pp. 42-43). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Edward Kaplan
Fino, Steven A.
Mahnken, Thomas G.
Martini, Edwin A.
Bridger, Sarah
Morris, Craig F.
Air Power History
Journal of Military History
American Heritage of Invention and Technology
Science, Technology and Human Values
Cornell University Press
Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press
Columbia University Press
University of Massachusetts Press
Harvard University Press
Naval Institute Press
Vietnam War
Strategy, military
Nuclear weapons; atomic weapons
Military technology
Aviation, Military
Aircraft; airplanes
Eisenhower, Dwight David
Lincoln, Abraham
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
United States
Soviet Union
Great Britain
United States Air Force (USAF)
Strategic Defense Initiative
United States National Security Council
Naval War College

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