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This collection of speeches delivered in 1987 presents the widely diverging opinions of four influenza] men: an eminent politician, a professional soldier, a government consultant, and a distinguished scholar. The first contributor, Senator George S. McGovern, ran as the Democratic candidate for president in 1972 on a platform that called for the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. The second speaker, General William C. Westmoreland, commanded American military forces in Vietnam until growing battlefield casualties and economic costs undermined support for the strategy of attrition in the United States. The third essay is by Edward N. Luttwak, a strong advocate for military reform in the United States and a frequent participant in high-level government discussions about American strategic interests throughout the world. The fourth speaker Thomas J. McCormack, is a diplomatic historian at the University of Wisconsin and an astute critic of American foreign policy. Each lecture is followed by a lively question-and-answer session that highlights the key points of agreement and disagreement with respect to the fundamental issues raised in the lectures. In a stimulating foreword, Akira Iriye challenges readers to think about the Vietnam War in relationship to the current debate about the role that the United States should play in world affairs.
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This slender volume consists of four presentations on the Vietnam War given as part of the Sears Lecture series at Purdue University. Former Senator George McGovern and General William Westmoreland present rather standard critiques and defenses of American participation in that conflict. In a more scholarly fashion Edward Luttwak and Thomas McCormick examine, respectively, strategic questions and the impact of American hegemony on U.S. policy. The brevity of each lecture prevents the exploration of issues in much depth. Also, there is a jarring difference in the levels of sophistication between the Luttwak and McCormick lectures on the one hand and the McGovern and Westmoreland lectures on the other. Nevertheless, if used in conjunction with a comprehensive text, this is a useful supplementary resource for political science and history students at the undergraduate level.
- Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, La fayette
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Purdue University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1557530025 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.3314165