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Haunting Legacy -- Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama

Kalb, Marvin & Kalb, Deborah

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ISBN 10: 0815721315 / ISBN 13: 9780815721314
Published by Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D. C., 2011
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Books First (Washington, DC, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

A fine, insightful account of the Vietnam legacy to this day, by veteran correspondent and political analyst for NBC and his daughter Deborah, a skilled and experienced journalist in her own right. This is an acclaimed, fully Fine/Fine copy, no marks, clips, chips, or bumps, with number line starting with "1." It is INSCRIBED by both authors as follows: "To the Cleveland Park Book Club II with all best wishes. Deborah Kalb, Marvin Kalb." As of June 2012 this is the only signed/inscribed copy I can find on the internet. Bookseller Inventory # 120608

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Haunting Legacy -- Vietnam and the American ...

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D. C.

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Authors

Edition: First Edition, First Printing, INSCRIBED

About this title

Synopsis:

The United States had never lost a war—that is, until 1975, when it was forced to flee Saigon in humiliation after losing to what Lyndon Johnson called a "raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country." The legacy of this first defeat has haunted every president since, especially on the decision of whether to put "boots on the ground" and commit troops to war.

In Haunting Legacy, the father-daughter journalist team of Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb presents a compelling, accessible, and hugely important history of presidential decisionmaking on one crucial issue: in light of the Vietnam debacle, under what circumstances should the United States go to war?

The sobering lesson of Vietnam is that the United States is not invincible—it can lose a war—and thus it must be more discriminating about the use of American power. Every president has faced the ghosts of Vietnam in his own way, though each has been wary of being sucked into another unpopular war. Ford (during the Mayaguez crisis) and both Bushes (Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan) deployed massive force, as if to say, "Vietnam, be damned." On the other hand, Carter, Clinton, and Reagan (to the surprise of many) acted with extreme caution, mindful of the Vietnam experience. Obama has also wrestled with the Vietnam legacy, using doses of American firepower in Libya while still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The authors spent five years interviewing hundreds of officials from every post war administration and conducting extensive research in presidential libraries and archives, and they've produced insight and information never before published. Equal parts taut history, revealing biography, and cautionary tale, Haunting Legacy is must reading for anyone trying to understand the power of the past to influence war-and-peace decisions of the present, and of the future.

About the Author:

Marvin Kalb is the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice (Emeritus) at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and founding director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. His distinguished journalism career covers thirty years of award-winning reporting and commentary for CBS and NBC News, including stints as bureau chief in Moscow and host of Meet the Press. His eleven previous books include The Nixon Memo (University of Chicago) and Kissinger (Little Brown). He hosts the Kalb Report at the National Press Club.

Deborah Kalb, a freelance writer and editor, worked as a journalist in Washington for two decades, including writing for Gannett News Service, Congressional Quarterly, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill. Both authors live in the Washington, D.C. area.

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