The Vietnam War: The History of America’s Most Controversial War

The Vietnam War: The History of America’s Most Controversial War

Narrated by:
Jim Walsh
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2023
8 hours 57 minutes
The Vietnam War could have been called a comedy of errors if the consequences weren’t so deadly and tragic. In 1951, while war was raging in Korea, the United States began signing defense pacts with nations in the Pacific, intending to create alliances that would contain the spread of Communism. As the Korean War was winding down, America joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, pledging to defend several nations in the region from Communist aggression. One of those nations was South Vietnam.

Before the Vietnam War, most Americans would have been hard pressed to locate Vietnam on a map. South Vietnamese President Diệm’s regime was extremely unpopular, and war broke out between Communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam around the end of the 1950s. Kennedy’s administration tried to prop up the South Vietnamese with training and assistance, but the South Vietnamese military was feeble. A month before his death, Kennedy signed a presidential directive withdrawing 1,000 American personnel, and shortly after Kennedy’s assassination, new President Lyndon B. Johnson reversed course, instead opting to expand American assistance to South Vietnam.

The post-analysis of war is a complicated and process that benefits from hindsight, and the involvement of the United States in Vietnam over about a decade was no exception. Never formally declared as a “war,” the Vietnam War was not fought in clean lines or with clear missions. Viewers of the evening news listening to the “box score” of killed and wounded each night had at best a hazy notion of what was happening a world away in Southeast Asia. If anything, their leaders were both attentive to reelection and on a certain level were themselves unsure of what was truly taking place. A military draft that sent over 50,000 American soldiers to their deaths was triggered by a resolution sought by President Lyndon B. Johnson in a decision to contain communism in a distant Asian land. 
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