The War Managers: Thirtieth Anniversary Edition.

Author:O'Sullivan, Curtis Hooper
Position:Book review

The War Managers: Thirtieth Anniversary Edition By Douglas Kinnard. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1977. Maps. Photographs. Illustrations. Notes. Appendices. Tables. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. Pp. xii, 216. $19.95 Paperback ISBN: 1-59114-437-3

In the thirty years since this was first published, there has been a plethora, even a surfeit, of material written about the Vietnam War. Archives have been opened and classified documents revealed. There have been new approaches and interpretations. Writings started with the orthodox school, then the revisionist and neo-revisionist, followed by a re-examination of earlier methods. Despite all of the material that has followed, this book remains a classic. First, it gives an excellent account of that conflict--the factual and largely non-controversial background. Second, it provides opinions and evaluations by a select and highly qualified group at a particular point in history. Thus, these remain valid despite the passage of time--which may have modified ideas and memories.

This work reports and analyzes the views and attitudes of two-thirds of the U.S. Army generals who were commanders in Vietnam between 1965 and 1973. Kinnard was one of these and, thus, had credibility. He'd had mud on his boots in three wars and wasn't an egg-head academic. He sent a questionnaire to all of these combat leaders. The...

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