Academic journal article Military Review

Prelude to Tragedy: Vietnam, 1960-1965

Academic journal article Military Review

Prelude to Tragedy: Vietnam, 1960-1965

Article excerpt

PRELUDE TO TRAGEDY: Vietnam, 1960-1965, Harvey Neese and John O'Donnell, eds., Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2001, 309 pages, $32.95.

Prelude to Tragedy: Vietnam, 1960-1965, is a good book for former military advisers to the U.S. Armed Forces of South Vietnam as well as for readers interested in the nonmilitary advisory and aid effort. The use of the word prelude in the title sets the stage for the surge of military advisers who arrived in Vietnam from 1964 until 1965. The surge gained even more momentum thereafter in the form of increasing commitment of U.S. combat forces.

Editors Harvey Neese and John O'Donnell tell the story of just what "went on" in South Vietnam before the major commitments of U.S. military resources. What went on was the rural-development program designed to counter Viet Cong influence and control in the countryside.

The theme the essayists' convey is the inability of U.S. …

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