America in Vietnam; Certain Victory: How Hanoi Won the War; Strategy for Defeat

In This Review

America in Vietnam

By Guenter Lewy
Oxford University Press, 1978
576 pp. $19.95

Certain Victory: How Hanoi Won the War

By Denis Warner
Sheed Andrews & McMeel, 1978
312 pp. $9.95

Strategy for Defeat

By Admiral U.S.G. Sharp
Presidio Press, 1978
324 pp. $12.95

Three books which attest to the continuing interest in, if not need for, reassessing the Vietnam war in a calmer atmosphere. Guenter Lewy's is the most sophisticated and profound: on the basis of extensive research in documents, he argues that many of the accusations concerning the U.S. conduct of the war and the alleged atrocities were false; yet so were the underlying strategic assumptions. Denis Warner, an Australian journalist who has covered Asia for a quarter century, writes with much interesting factual detail, but fails to develop an overall theme. For Admiral Sharp, former Commander-in-Chief in the Pacific, there is a clear explanation: the war could have been won if the military had been left unfettered; but because of the policy of gradualism and bombing restrictions, the war was lost by the civilians in Washington.