This is the second volume in a meticulous history by a scholar of Southeast Asia at the University of London. Mr. Smith maintains admirable objectivity while giving full attention to both the broad international context and the specific behavior of the United States, South Vietnam, and the Vietnamese communists. He is more successful in explaining the ramifications of the war, although covering less than five years, than is Gabriel Kolko (above). The "Kennedy strategy" was counterinsurgency. It continued for a little more than a year into the Johnson Administration.