Retracing the confused pattern of planning for escalation of the Vietnam War, Moise reconstructs the events of the night of August 4, 1964, when the U.S. Navy destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy reported that they were under attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. Using declassified records and interviews with the participants, Moise demonstrates that there was no North Vietnamese attack; the original report was a genuine mistake.
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Edwin E. Moise, professor of history at Clemson University, is author of Land Reform in China and North Vietnam and Modern China: A History.Review:
All students of the Vietnam War and of recent American foreign policy need to be familiar with this important book. . . . Not every book labeled 'authoritative' deserves the title. This one does.--Journal of American History
Moise separates fact from fiction in an absorbing and entirely plausible account of what actually transpired in August 1964.--The Northern Mariner
This book not only illuminates the events of 4 August 1964, but also presents a different view of American planning prior to the Vietnamese conflict. Dr. Moise's work is a refreshingly welcome addition to the Vietnam War literature, and certainly one for the shelves of serious students of that conflict.--Intelligence and National Security
Edwin Moise has written a fine book on an important subject. Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War is must reading for anyone interested in the events of early August 1964 in both the Tonkin Gulf and Washington.--U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings
An illuminating, almost minute-by-minute reconstruction of the events that took place in the Tonkin Gulf in August 1964, and an analysis of decisions in Washington that led to the massive American escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965. . . . The most inclusive look by far at the portentous Tonkin Gulf incident.--Kirkus Reviews
In The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman wrote: 'Not a Fort Sumter or a Pearl Harbor, Tonkin Gulf was no less significant.' If any book is to give Tonkin Gulf the significance it deserves, it will be this volume by Ed Moise. After years of painstaking work, this meticulous and fair scholar and interviewer has developed, in depth, the answers to all the questions about what went on in that gulf in that first week of August, 1964.--Admiral James Stockdale
Fair-minded and meticulous. . . . It should prove definitive.--Economist
A valuable addition to literature on the Vietnam War. . . . Moise's work is a refreshingly welcome addition to Vietnam War literature, and certainly one for the shelves of serious students of the conflict.--Vietnam
A careful and incredibly thorough account. . . .This is an excellent book. . . .. Thorough and provocative throughout. . . . It is essential reading for the national security community and those interested in U.S. policy in Vietnam or the U.S. presidency.--Naval War College Review
Thoroughly researched and carefully reasoned. . . . Far surpasses in its breadth and detail anything previously written on the Gulf of Tonkin incident.--American Historical Review
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