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America's Longest War


George Herring attempts to present the Vietnam War in the light of illustrating the two sides to the historical debate of the American presence in Vietnam.  America's Longest War is filled with dates, facts, evidence and postulates on the reasons the United States was involved in the Vietnam WarThis is a topic suggestion on America's Longest War from Paper Masters. Use this topic or order a custom research paper, written exactly how you need it to be. Herring's thesis provides the most interesting aspect of the historical account in asserting the following:

  • Decision makers were mislead by Presidents
  • United States policy on Vietnam was faulty
  • President after President sacrificed his ethics for the sake of Vietnamese nationalismAmerica's Longest War

America's Longest War and Johnson

President Johnson's advisory group, known as the Wise Men, had more of an identity apart from Johnson than within his confidence.  They were the ones that decided that the war was unwinnable, or at least that the American public thought it unwinnable to the point that action had to be taken. By pressure from the Wise Men, President Johnson removed Westmoreland and did not seek reelection in November.  It was an admission that the United States was not on the winning side in Vietnam.  Suddenly, the public realized it had been duped.

Herring asserts that manipulation of the public and of Washington officials ran rampant in the Johnson and Nixon administration.  Both administrations new that public opinion was crucial in the war and they used the media and policy to influence the American sentiment.  A sense of false consciousness was established in the form of anti-Communist sentiment.  Walter Cronkite summed up the public sentiment with his statement of "What the hell is going on here?  I thought we were winning this war". 

Misled About the Vietnam War

Herrings detailed account of the deception and mishaps of Vietnam certainly gives evidence of his thesis that policy, decisions and Presidents were on the side of being misled, misleading or being deceitful. However, the bombardment of facts, statistics, names and dates made the book difficult to read.  Herring raised many questions and searching for the answers was difficult among the text of such detailed history.

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