Einaudi Center Director Fredrik Logevall's recently published book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam, has received many plaudits in academic circles and in the international media. Below are several excerpts.
Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins professor of history at Columbia University, writes in the New York Times, "Fredrik Logevall’s excellent book “Choosing War” (1999) chronicled the American escalation of the Vietnam War in the early 1960s. With “Embers of War,” he has written an even more impressive book about the French conflict in Vietnam and the beginning of the American one — from the end of World War II to the beginning of the second Vietnam War in 1959."
The Economist writes, "Mr Logevall peppers the grand sweep of his book with vignettes of remarkable characters, wise and foolish. They include General Giap, emulator of Napoleon, who showed that an Asian army could defeat a European one in fixed battle; Dulles, a sanctimonious Wall Street lawyer, who dominated American foreign policy under Eisenhower; and Bernard Fall, an Austrian-Jewish refugee turned French soldier and American journalist, who understood that America’s prospects in Vietnam were ultimately no better than France’s."
Lawrence D. Freedman writes in Foreign Affairs, "Logevall's book is magisterial... Logevall draws on a vast range of sources, cleverly analyzing the writer Graham Greene's journalism and his novel The Quiet American, and the controversies they generated, to illuminate the tension between British cynicism and American idealism."
Jordan Michael Smith of the Christian Science Monitor writes, "Embers of War is simply an essential work for those seeking to understand the worst foreign-policy adventure in American history. . . . Even though readers know how the story ends—as with “The Iliad”—they will be as riveted by the tale as if they were hearing it for the first time."
Professor Logevall was also interviewed on 'Author Talk by Jeff Glor of CBS, saying that Ho Chi Minh "saw communism as the best path of development for his country, but it was always his country."
According to the WNYC Radio's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry, "With the help of previously untapped diplomatic archives, historian Fredrik Logevall's new book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam, traces the history of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War from the end of World War I leading up to America’s direct troop intervention in 1965."
Click on the links below to read more.