Mark Atwood Lawrence´s The Vietnam War: A Concise International History

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Mark Atwood Lawrence’s The Vietnam War: A Concise International History shows readers an international affair involving many nations and how the conflict progressed throughout its rather large existence. Lawrence starts his book in a time before America was involved in the war. It starts out with the French trying to colonize the nation of Vietnam. Soon the United States gets involved and struggles to get its point across in the jungles of Indo-China. Much of the book focuses on the American participation in helping South Vietnam vie for freedom to combine the country as a whole not under Communist rule. Without seeing many results, the war drug on for quite some time with neither side giving up. This resulted in problems in Vietnam and the U.S. Lawrence’s purpose in writing this book was concise and to the point. In recent history, due to the fall of the Soviet bloc, new information has been made available for use in Vietnam. As stated in the introduction, “This book aims to take account of this new scholarship in a brief, accessible narrative of the Vietnam War… It places the war within the long flow of Vietnamese history and then captures the goals and experiences of various governments that became deeply embroiled in the country during the second half of the twentieth century” (Lawrence, 3.) This study is not only about the American government and how they were involved in the Vietnam conflict, but highlights other such countries as France, China, and the Soviet Union. Lawrence goes on to say that one of his major goals in writing this book is to examine the American role in Vietnam within an international context (Lawrence, 4.) Again, this goes to show that the major purpose of Lawrence’s study included not only ... ... middle of paper ... ...conflict. The war had a profound effect on the United States domestic life. The government had massive spending. The more than $150 billion spent throughout this war led to a severe economic crisis (Lawrence, 171.) The war also caused Americans to not trust their governmental leaders for the first time in history. This was due to the Watergate scandal along with the war efforts (Lawrence, 172.) Due to the profound effects economically and socially the war had on Americans, the U.S. should have not proceeded to entering into a battle that was not their own. The Vietnam War: A Concise International History is a strong book that portrays a vivid picture of both sides of the war. By getting access to new information and using valid sources, Lawrence’s study deserves credibility. After reading this book, a new light and understanding of the Vietnam war exists.

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