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The Vietnam War: A Documentary Reader

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9678-9
296 pages
January 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
The Vietnam War: A Documentary Reader (1405196785) cover image

Description

The Vietnam War is an outstanding collection of primary documents related to America’s conflict in Vietnam which includes a balance of original American and Vietnamese perspectives, providing a uniquely varied range of insights into both American and Vietnamese experiences.

  • Includes substantial non-American content, including many original English translations of Vietnamese-authored texts which showcase the diversity and complexity of Vietnamese experiences during the war
  • Contains original American documents germane to the continuing debates about the causes, consequences and morality of the US intervention
  • Incorporates personal histories of individual Americans and Vietnamese
  • Introductory headnotes place each document in context
  • Features a range of non-textual documents, including iconic photographs and political cartoons
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Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface x

Acknowledgements xii

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 Colonialism, Nationalism, and Communism 1

1.1 Tam Lang, I Pulled a Rickshaw (1932) 1

1.2 The Trial Testimony of Phan Boi Chau (1925) 5

1.3 Ho Chi Minh, The Path which Led Me to Leninism (1960) 7

1.4 Nguyen Ai Quoc (Ho Chi Minh), Appeal Made on the Occasion of the Founding of the Vietnamese Communist Party (1930) 9

1.5 Ho Chi Minh, The Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1945) 11

Chapter 2 The First Indochina War and the Origins of American Involvement 15

2.1 Oral History of Xuan Vu, Viet Minh War Reporter and Propagandist (1987) 15

2.2 US Department of State Airgram on French–Vietnamese Relations (1946) 20

2.3 Truong Chinh, “We Struggle for Independence and Democracy” (1948) 22

2.4 US National Security Council, Report on the Position of the United States with Respect to Indochina (1950) 26

2.5 Robert Blum, Telegram on US Economic Aid to France in Indochina (1951) 29

2.6 Memorandum of a Conversation with President Eisenhower about Dien Bien Phu (1954) 31

2.7 Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference (1954) 32

Chapter 3 The Two Vietnams 37

3.1 Col. Edward G. Lansdale, Report on the activities of the Saigon Military Mission (1955) 37

3.2 Ngo Dinh Diem,Message to the RVN National Assembly on the Foundations of the Constitution (1956) 46

3.3 Wolf Ladejinsky, A Visit with President Ngo Dinh Diem (1955) 49

3.4 Vietnam Workers’ Party Politburo, Directive Regarding Land Reform (1953) 52

3.5 Oral History of Han Vi, Musicologist and Communist Party Cadre 55

Chapter 4 The Rise of the “Viet Cong” 61

4.1 Le Duan, The Path to Revolution in the South (1956) 61

4.2 A Communist Party Account of the Situation in the Nam Bo Region of South Vietnam (1961) 69

4.3 A Poor Farmer’s Account of the 1960 “Concerted Uprising” in My Tho Province (1967) 72

4.4 Program of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (1960) 75

Chapter 5 The Fall of Diem 81

5.1 The Caravelle Manifesto (1960) 81

5.2 Report of the Taylor Mission to South Vietnam (1961) 88

5.3 The Self-Immolation of Thich Quang Duc (1963) 90

5.4 Transcript of a Phone Conversation between Ngo Dinh Diem and Henry Cabot Lodge (November 1, 1963) 92

5.5 John F. Kennedy, Comments on the Saigon Coup (November 4, 1963) 93

Chapter 6 Escalation 96

6.1 Resolution of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Workers’ Party: Strive to Struggle, Rush Forward to Win New Victories in the South (December 1963) 96

6.2 Recording of a Phone Conversation between Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara (April 30, 1964) 100

6.3 The Tonkin Gulf Resolution (August 1964) 103

6.4 US Senator Wayne Morse, Speech on the Tonkin Gulf Resolution (August 5, 1964) 104

6.5 George Ball, “A Compromise Solution for South Vietnam” (1965) 106

6.6 Notes of a Meeting at the White House (July 21, 1965) 110

Chapter 7 On the Battlefield 115

7.1 A South Vietnamese Account of the Battle of Ap Bac (1995) 115

7.2 Interrogation of a Captured NLF Fighter (1967) 120

7.3 Oral History of Tom Esslinger, US Marine Lieutenant and Veteran of the Battle of Khe Sanh (2003) 124

7.4 Varnado Simpson, Testimony about the My Lai Massacre (1969) 132

7.5 Oral History of Wilson Key, US Navy Pilot and Prisoner of War (2004) 135

7.6 A North Vietnamese soldier remembers the Bombing of North Vietnam (1970) 142

7.7 Kim Phuc and the Napalm Attack on Trang Bang Village (1972) 144

Chapter 8 The Tet Offensive 147

8.1 Resolution of the 14th Plenum of the VWP Central Committee (January 1968) 147

8.2 US Central Intelligence Agency Report on the Communist Tet Offensive (January 31, 1968) 152

8.3 The Execution of Nguyen Van Lem 155

8.4 General Huynh Cong Than, “The General Offensive and Uprising in the Southern Sector of Saigon” (1994) 156

8.5 Walter Cronkite, Remarks on the Tet Offensive (February 1968) 163

8.6 Lyndon B. Johnson, Address to the Nation Announcing Steps to Limit the War in Vietnam (March 31, 1968) 165

Chapter 9 Home Fronts 172

9.1 Students for a Democratic Society, “Build, Not Burn” (1965) 172

9.2 Young Americans for Freedom, “Aid and Comfort to the Enemy” (1965) 174

9.3 Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, Statement Against the War in Vietnam (1966) 176

9.4 Nicholas Garland, Cartoon of Lyndon Johnson (1966) 178

9.5 Pete Seeger, “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”(1967) 179

9.6 Senator George McGovern, Speech in Support of the McGovern–Hatfield Amendment to End the War in Indochina (1970) 181

9.7 Ngo Cong Duc, “Anti-Americanism: Common Cause in Vietnam” (1970) 183

9.8 Terry Nelson and C-Company, “The Battle Hymn of Lt Calley” (1971) 190

9.9 Daniel Ellsberg, “Murder and the Lying Machine” (2002) 192

Chapter 10 Pacification, Vietnamization, and “Fighting While Negotiating” 197

10.1 William Westmoreland, “The Refugee Problem” (1968) 197

10.2 Robert Komer, “The Phoenix Program and the Attack on the Viet Cong Infrastructure” (1969) 200

10.3 A Communist Cadre Describes Pacification in My Tho Province During 1969–1970 204

10.4 Le Duc Tho and Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Yi Discuss the Paris Peace Talks (1968) 205

10.5 Henry Kissinger Negotiates with Le Duc Tho (1971) 207

10.6 Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger Discuss the Fate of South Vietnam (August 1972) 213

Chapter 11 Victory and Defeat 216

11.1 Jacques Leslie, A Visit to Viet Cong Territory (1995) 216

11.2 Bui Tin, An Account of the Surrender of South Vietnam (1981) 221

11.3 Nguyen Thi Hoa, “Mom, I’m leaving now. I will make you very proud of me.” 223

Chapter 12 Memories and Legacies 226

12.1 The POW/MIA Flag 226

12.2 Excerpt from Quang X. Pham, Excerpt from A Sense of Duty: Our Journey from Vietnam to America (2005) 227

12.3 A US Army Nurse Remembers Vietnam (2004) 232

12.4 A Letter Left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 238

12.5 George W. Bush, Speech at a Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention (2007) 239

12.6 Vo Van Kiet, “Healing the Wound” (2005) 243

Index 249

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Author Information

Edward Miller is Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College. His research uses archival collections in the US and Vietnam to examine both sides of the Vietnam War experience. His first book, Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and the Fate of South Vietnam, will be published in 2013.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Includes substantial non-American content, including many original English translations of Vietnamese-authored texts which showcase the diversity and complexity of Vietnamese experiences during the war
  • Contains original American documents germane to the continuing debates about the causes, consequences and morality of the US intervention
  • Incorporates personal histories of individual Americans and Vietnamese
  • Introductory headnotes place each document in context
  • Features a range of non-textual documents, including iconic photographs and political cartoons
See More

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