In This Review

Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era
Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era
By Robert Buzzanco
Cambridge University Press, 1996, 385 pp
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Fury at those who believe that the United States lost the Vietnam War because the military fought with one hand tied behind its back animates this book. The author's political vehemence corrodes his scholarly detachment. This drawback is unfortunate, because he has the archival material for a long overdue exploration of internal divisions at the top of the American defense establishment. Buzzanco is particularly interesting on the views of military dissenters, including senior generals, who opposed either the war itself or the way the United States chose to wage it. Although not entirely novel, there is much to be learned here. But the author's bitter partisanship and his polemical prose will mean that some of those who could benefit most from reading this book will shrug it off.