Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The Vietnam War heats up

I have on my desk a stack of dueling new reviews of books about the Vietnam War, plus commentary on some of the reviews. Many are about Lewis Sorley’s book on Westmoreland. His subtitle, "The General Who Lost Vietnam," gets chewed on a lot, like my dogs would do with squirrels if they ever caught ...

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I have on my desk a stack of dueling new reviews of books about the Vietnam War, plus commentary on some of the reviews. Many are about Lewis Sorley's book on Westmoreland. His subtitle, "The General Who Lost Vietnam," gets chewed on a lot, like my dogs would do with squirrels if they ever caught them. There are two review essays on Vietnam books in the new issue of Parameters.

I've also got on my reading table a book on the end of the war, Soldiering On in a Dying War: The True Story of the Firebase Pace Incidents and the Vietnam Drawdown, by William J. Shkurti, which looks interesting. I'm going to dig into it tonight. My new motto: There is always one more book on Vietnam to be read. Don't tell my wife, but I just found another book on My Lai.

I think there is a good essay to be written: "What We are Talking About When We Talk About the Vietnam War."

I have on my desk a stack of dueling new reviews of books about the Vietnam War, plus commentary on some of the reviews. Many are about Lewis Sorley’s book on Westmoreland. His subtitle, "The General Who Lost Vietnam," gets chewed on a lot, like my dogs would do with squirrels if they ever caught them. There are two review essays on Vietnam books in the new issue of Parameters.

I’ve also got on my reading table a book on the end of the war, Soldiering On in a Dying War: The True Story of the Firebase Pace Incidents and the Vietnam Drawdown, by William J. Shkurti, which looks interesting. I’m going to dig into it tonight. My new motto: There is always one more book on Vietnam to be read. Don’t tell my wife, but I just found another book on My Lai.

I think there is a good essay to be written: "What We are Talking About When We Talk About the Vietnam War."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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