Book Reviews

By Doyle, Robert C. | Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews


Doyle, Robert C., Phi Kappa Phi Forum


BOOK EDITOR'S NOTE. The top political issue in the country currently is the Iraq War, which has been compared--and contrasted--with the Vietnam War. In this issue we present reviews of two books by Phi Kappa Phi members who write from personal experience in these conflicts.--NRL

Charles Henderson. Goodnight Saigon: The True Story of the U.S. Marines' Last Days in Vietnam. New York: Berkley, 2005.448 pages. $24.95 (hardbound).

Alexis de Tocqueville believed that democratic armies often perform badly and are weaker than aristocratic armies at the beginning of campaigns, but in time, they develop their assets and fighting spirit to prevail against their adversaries (Democracy in America). Most certainly, after the American withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, many Americans in government, the military services, and veterans believed that the Army of South Vietnam (ARVN) could stand on its own against any invasion by the North Vietnamese. After all, the ARVN and South Vietnamese Marine Corps were both mirror images of their mentors, the U.S. Army and USMC. As Charles Henderson points out, perhaps they were capable of doing that on paper, but the Clausewitzian concepts of luck and political leadership played deadly roles in the tragic destiny of the Republic of Vietnam from March to April 1975.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In war as in life, if one does nothing to stop decay, a situation will collapse into chaos. In the face of the second huge invasion of the Republic of Vietnam in January 1975the first being the Easter Offensive in 1972instead of holding defensive positions and counterattacking, President Nguyen Van Thieu, himself a former ARVN general officer, ordered his northern armies into a full retreat toward Saigon. Under the weight of mass movement under fire, South Vietnamese field forces collapsed, and the northern provinces gave way quickly to the North Vietnamese Army's (NVA) powerful onslaught. An enigma? Hardly.

In Goodnight Saigon, Charles Henderson shows through interviews with former Viet Cong soldiers how the NVA worked closely with the indigenous Viet Cong who operated often a Fifth Column that infiltrated and attacked target cities before the main attacks. By showing how this tactic, called the "Lotus Blossom," worked, Henderson makes the point that it was used consistently during the entire campaign with pointed effectiveness. Henderson, always the Marine, believes that battles are always won or lost by the foot soldiers on the ground. Yet victory cannot be accomplished without good tactics.

The battle for South Vietnam opened on March 10, 1975, when the NVA attacked the city of Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book Reviews
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.