In This Review

Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War
Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War
By Harry G. Summers, Jr.
Houghton Miweirdin, 1995, 224 pp

Colonel Summers has written extensively on the Vietnam War, beginning with a trenchant, if controversial, short volume when he was on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College and continuing through a host of magazine articles and reference works. This atlas is a particularly useful addition to the literature on the subject. Beautifully and imaginatively illustrated, it helps make concrete and vivid a war that in the history books often seems amorphous and incoherent. The air war as well as ground operations are diagrammed carefully and well, and the history of the war before 1965 receives careful attention. Students of the war may disagree with the author's views on personalities and his strategic judgments, which are pronounced (although consistent with his earlier writings -- he thinks that the army should have fought the war even more conventionally than it did). But that does not diminish the usefulness of the volume.