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Comparison of Three Books about Vietnam War - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Comparison of Three Books about Vietnam War The Vietnam War was an era characterized by cold war, as well as military conflict in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam between 1955 and 1975. The warring sides were largely from the Southern part of Vietnam, which encompassed anti-communists and the Northern part that had a high concentration of communists…
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Comparison of Three Books about Vietnam War
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Download file to see previous pages While different authors appreciate the occurrences during the war, they portray the war and the US interference in different ways. This paper will examine three such books, comparing the description of the Vietnam War in all the books. The Vietnam War was a memorable event in the history of the US. A People's History of the United States In the book, A People’s History of the United States, Zinn presents the history of the Vietnam War in a simplistic manner that common people can appreciate. Zinn provides this history through the eyes of the common folk instead of the economic and political elite. For instance, he focuses on the US citizens’ resistance to the Vietnam War, as well as the people of North Vietnam who though deemed insignificant, were able to defeat the US-backed South. Zinn terms the US involvement in the Vietnam War as a mission in futility. He exemplifies that regardless of its military and technology superiority, the US was unable to defeat Northern Vietnamese whose main weapon was human strength and tactical thinking capacity. According to Zinn, US victory in Vietnam was impossible because North Vietnamese dejected colonial imperialism after Japan’s failed attempt to capture Indochina. He argues that the US was fighting a war it could not win. This is because the people of Vietnam favored the government led by Ho Chi Minh and were against Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime. This allowed the people of Vietnam to maintain high morale throughout the war. On the other hand, morale among US military fighters in Vietnam was quite low because most of the American soldiers revolted against the atrocities they inflicted, like the My Lai massacre. Zinn describes the Vietnam War as a war between “the wealthiest and most powerful nation in global history” and “a nationalist, revolutionary movement in a peasant nation”. This description paints the picture of a fight akin to a cat and mouse fight where the insignificant revolutionary people fought against a mighty nation such as the US. Normally, one would expect that the stronger party in the fight wins, but in the Vietnam War, Zinn asserts that it is the small, insignificant humans who won against the technology of the US. In addition, Zinn speaks of the impact the US citizens had on the culmination of the Vietnam War. Zinn talks of the impact of the US movement against the Vietnam War as having, “played a critical part in bringing the war to an end”. Nonetheless, Zinn attempts to dispel the common belief that US opposition to the Vietnam War was amongst college students and intellectuals from the middle class. He uses statistics from the war period to show evidence that considerable opposition also came from the US working class. For instance, poet Robert Lowell refused to attend a luncheon at the White House, while singer Eartha Kitt spoke out against the war in the presence of the first lady. Zinn maintains the stance that it is the common people that brought change in Vietnam. The assertion “the revolutionists fought against the Japanese” and defeated the superior nation speaks of the impact of Vietnamese on the going on within their country. Zinn’s description of the war also holds that the troops also opposed the war, citing refusals and desertions to progress to war, as well as movements like Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which subsequently covered US invasions ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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