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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #1  
Old 01 Sep 17, 03:03
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A Companion to The Vietnam War Robert Buzzanco, Marilyn B. Young

Has anyone read A Companion to The Vietnam War Robert Buzzanco, Marilyn B. Young? Any thoughts , recommendations or otherwise. There are a couple of the essays I am particularly interested in and wondered whether it is worth getting at some point. Cheers in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01 Sep 17, 07:33
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I don't have it and haven't read it. Having looked up the contributors, however, it doesn't look like any of them are military historians or specialists of the Vietnam War.

I was thinking of getting it because you brought it up, but having looked it up and read the CVs of the contributors, I think I'll pass.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
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Old 01 Sep 17, 07:43
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Thanks for the reply Kevin. What sparked my interest was Christopher Goscha's chapter on the involvement of Japanese deserters on the development of the war against the French. Which is something that I have become more interested in. Then again I have not read any of his work either.

Thanks again.
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Old 03 Sep 17, 18:59
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Be aware of competing interpretive perspectives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio View Post
Has anyone read A Companion to The Vietnam War Robert Buzzanco, Marilyn B. Young? Any thoughts , recommendations or otherwise. There are a couple of the essays I am particularly interested in and wondered whether it is worth getting at some point. Cheers in advance.
Newcomers to the subject can expend a lifetime reading books which are pushing one particular POV or another. A great number of authors are advocates rather than objective researchers. Awareness of the game will save a great deal of time and confusion.

Scholars who attempt to look objectively at the field of history of the US in Vietnam (and some who actually attempt to look objectively at the history of The Vietnam War) offered survey briefs to inform laypersons about the various competing interpretations, perspectives, points of view on the subject. Those who classify these interpretive POV's for general reference purposes put both Marilyn Young and Robert Buzzanco squarely in the camp of the radical left/US-as-imperialist-aggressor perspective.* Any anthology Young and Buzzanco assemble will likely reflect that POV. Young and Buzzanco are advocates first and foremost, more than they are objective historians. No scrupulous reviewer can deny this. Let the reader beware. The book may still provide some interesting and informative reading.

*See the competing interpretations POV threads on this forum. Robert McMahon's is good place to get a very quicky intro: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps...pretations.htm
"Changing Interpretations of the Vietnam War" 1999--a bit dated, but Young and Buzzanco never changed their minds.
George Hopkins expanded on McMahon's piece with his article
"Historians and the VN War: The Conflict over Interpretations Continues" 2002 but is not available online.

JM$.02 from a VN incountry vet and just a history dilettante layperson, after ten+ years of trying to understand how the VN War histories are written, portrayed and sold. If I hadn't discovered articles like McMahon's when I did (ca 2007) I would still be lost in the wilderness of piles of VN War history books, like some people I encounter.
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Old 03 Sep 17, 19:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
I don't have it and haven't read it. Having looked up the contributors, however, it doesn't look like any of them are military historians or specialists of the Vietnam War.

I was thinking of getting it because you brought it up, but having looked it up and read the CVs of the contributors, I think I'll pass.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
I looked it over once, but today I can't find an online source for the list of contributors besides Goscha. TIA for a link.
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  #6  
Old 03 Sep 17, 19:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio View Post
Thanks for the reply Kevin. What sparked my interest was Christopher Goscha's chapter on the involvement of Japanese deserters on the development of the war against the French. Which is something that I have become more interested in. Then again I have not read any of his work either.

Thanks again.
Another source that helps me a lot is H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews.
This one on Goscha's book might be a supplement for you:

https://issforum.org/roundtables/PDF...able-XIV-1.pdf
Christopher Goscha. Vietnam. Un tat n de la Guerre 1945-1954. Paris: Armand Colin,
2011. 560 pp. ISBN/EAN: 978-2-200-26329-4

I'm not familiar with most of the contributors, but Edward Miller, moderator, is a first rate objective relatively new historian on the subject. He and others like him are helping to extend discussion beyond the establishment 1980's era POVs. Appears that Goscha has a solid rep.

BTW here's Goscha's editorial in the ongoing NYT Vietnam '67 series.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/o...n%2Fvietnam-67
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Old 05 Sep 17, 15:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffy View Post
Newcomers to the subject can expend a lifetime reading books which are pushing one particular POV or another. A great number of authors are advocates rather than objective researchers. Awareness of the game will save a great deal of time and confusion.

Scholars who attempt to look objectively at the field of history of the US in Vietnam (and some who actually attempt to look objectively at the history of The Vietnam War) offered survey briefs to inform laypersons about the various competing interpretations, perspectives, points of view on the subject. Those who classify these interpretive POV's for general reference purposes put both Marilyn Young and Robert Buzzanco squarely in the camp of the radical left/US-as-imperialist-aggressor perspective.* Any anthology Young and Buzzanco assemble will likely reflect that POV. Young and Buzzanco are advocates first and foremost, more than they are objective historians. No scrupulous reviewer can deny this. Let the reader beware. The book may still provide some interesting and informative reading.

*See the competing interpretations POV threads on this forum. Robert McMahon's is good place to get a very quicky intro: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps...pretations.htm
"Changing Interpretations of the Vietnam War" 1999--a bit dated, but Young and Buzzanco never changed their minds.
George Hopkins expanded on McMahon's piece with his article
"Historians and the VN War: The Conflict over Interpretations Continues" 2002 but is not available online.

JM$.02 from a VN incountry vet and just a history dilettante layperson, after ten+ years of trying to understand how the VN War histories are written, portrayed and sold. If I hadn't discovered articles like McMahon's when I did (ca 2007) I would still be lost in the wilderness of piles of VN War history books, like some people I encounter.
Many thanks for the replies and information. Much appreciated!
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  #8  
Old 06 Sep 17, 01:11
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Goscha has written a very fine history of Vietnam, essentially wrapping together all the scholastic efforts to weed out the historiography from Vietnam's true history over the past 50 years. He does a fine effort in presenting all points of view.

In the review linked, he speaks of America's "decades old involvement in Vietnam" in the 1954-55 period, which confuses me. I don't see us as having any real involvement until 1950, and our first shipment of aid for the French and SoVN Army, the later ARVN, didn't arrive until January 1951.

Likewise, the idea that France wanted to hold on to Vietnam as a colony needs more substance. In 1945 some of the French, particularly Sainteny and Leclerc, were willing to deal with HCM, much to the disgust of d'Argenlieu. D'Argenlieu believed that France should at least hold on to Cochinchine, and his declaring it an Associated Republic was one of the events that led to the war. Bao Dai gets no credit for forcing the French to acknowledge Cochinchine as Vietnam's third "Ky", but he did make that a condition for his accepting the role of Head of State, thereby ending France's recognition of Cambodian claims to certain parts of the Mekong Delta. and earning their enmity. What's missing in Professor Goscha's book (Vietnam, a New History) is a more detailed of French politics of their period. Fair enough, perhaps. It is after all a history of Vietnam. But the discombobulated state of French politics in the post-war period had a lot to do with how and why they were fighting that war.
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