Warriors and Fools is both broad and deep in scope in its narration of the Vietnam War story. It takes the reader from the White House's
oval office and Hanoi's Politburo room, to the Pentagon's and North Vietnam Army's command centers, to Vietnam's mountain and rice patty
battlefields to show the determination, deceit, foolhardiness, mistakes, courage, and horrors of war from the views of both sides. While
it examines multiple participant views, overall the book seeks to answer one specific question - why did the US fail to achieve its principal
objective to defend South Vietnam from communist aggression? The story's findings and conclusions are neither orthodox nor revisionist.
Those trying to gain insights on how American civilian leaders lost the war that its military could have won; or how the US Congress,
Press, or Antiwar activists convinced the Public to stop its support will be disappointed. None of these traditional 'answers' on why
the US lost are really valid.
Rather, as this story explains the answer is much more linked to human factors, interactions, and relationships. In this case, the interrelationship between American civilian and military leaders and advisors was extraordinarily divisive and dysfunctional. So much so that it resulted in flawed, timid policies and foolish strategies that led to defeat. Moreover, that troublesome interrelationship was primarily a result of mistrusts, misunderstandings, and misperceptions on their roles, responsibilities, and what they thought would lead to a positive end to the war. In addition, primarily because they were either ignorant of the nature of war or overconfident from their past experiences, civilian and military policymakers ignored or misunderstood their enemy.
Warriors and Fools should be of interest to those who served in the war, and serious students and teachers of this event and period. It is not intended as light reading, or for someone trying to get just a brief understanding of what happened there and in America at the time.
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