United States Army in Vietnam. Vol. I: Advice and Support: The Early Years, 1941-1960

In This Review

United States Army in Vietnam. Vol. I: Advice and Support: The Early Years, 1941-1960

By Ronald H. Spector
Center of Military History, U.S. Army, 1983
391 pp. $18.00
Purchase

This volume, the first in the projected official history of the United States Army in Vietnam, is essential for an understanding of deepening American involvement and illustrative of the truism that there is no dividing line between political and military affairs. It describes the beginnings of aid to the French, the desire of the Americans to train Vietnamese troops (the French said no), the painful review of options (including the possible use of atomic weapons) at the time of Dien Bien Phu, and the search in the late 1950s, after the French had gone, for an effective doctrine of military and political assistance to the Saigon regime. The impressive research draws on Army, State Department, presidential, and private manuscripts and archives.