The Suicide Of An Elite: American Internationalists And Vietnam

In This Review

The Suicide Of An Elite: American Internationalists And Vietnam

By Patrick Lloyd Hatcher
Stanford University Press, 1990
429 pp. $35.00
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This is an original, uneven book, brilliant in part but marred by a misleading title, an overstated accusation that the National Security Council staff "designed" the war, a strained dichotomy between "Whig" and "Tory" American internationalists, and an oddly disproportionate treatment of some topics (such as the popularity of James Bond books and films). Nevertheless, this is a serious study, based on wide reading and fresh archival research. The criticism of American assumptions about the Vietnamese economy and land reform is good. Hatcher believes the United States should have mined Haiphong harbor in the north and concentrated on providing physical security, before reform, in the south.

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