Don’t bother buying this book
Marvin Kalb and his daughter Deborah have written a book called “The Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama”.
I can give you one very good reason not to even bother buying or reading the book. It comes from an email interview Kalb did with TIME’s Battleland:
Why did you write Haunting Legacy?
The Vietnam War was the only war the U.S. ever lost, and it left a deep scar on the American psyche. From then on, American presidents, whenever faced with the need to send troops to war, worried about getting trapped in another Vietnam, meaning another war without a clear mission, without an exit strategy, without Congressional support. Deborah and I wanted to explore this crucial dimension of recent American history. That’s the reason we wrote the book.
Bullsquat. “Losing” a war usually means you were there to fight it and got beaten. That’s not the case with Vietnam, although it is a very persistent myth. If we lost anything it was the political war (and will), certainly not the war on the battlefield.
So someone who would make a statement like the first in that paragraph has zip for credibility with me. Our last combat troops left South Vietnam in August of 1972. Saigon fell in April of 1975. Who is the “we” that lost the war? I think we all know who that is and Kalb was right there with the bunch of ‘em painting a picture that wasn’t accurate and is still doing it.