Mark Atwood Lawrence´S The Vietnam War: A Concise International History

1368 words - 6 pages

Mark Atwood Lawrence’s The Vietnam War: A Concise International History shows readers an international affair involving many nations and how the conflict progressed throughout its rather large existence. Lawrence starts his book in a time before America was involved in the war. It starts out with the French trying to colonize the nation of Vietnam. Soon the United States gets involved and struggles to get its point across in the jungles of Indo-China. Much of the book focuses on the American participation in helping South Vietnam vie for freedom to combine the country as a whole not under Communist rule. Without seeing many results, the war drug on for quite some time with neither side giving up. This resulted in problems in Vietnam and the U.S.
Lawrence’s purpose in writing this book was concise and to the point. In recent history, due to the fall of the Soviet bloc, new information has been made available for use in Vietnam. As stated in the introduction, “This book aims to take account of this new scholarship in a brief, accessible narrative of the Vietnam War… It places the war within the long flow of Vietnamese history and then captures the goals and experiences of various governments that became deeply embroiled in the country during the second half of the twentieth century” (Lawrence, 3.) This study is not only about the American government and how they were involved in the Vietnam conflict, but highlights other such countries as France, China, and the Soviet Union. Lawrence goes on to say that one of his major goals in writing this book is to examine the American role in Vietnam within an international context (Lawrence, 4.) Again, this goes to show that the major purpose of Lawrence’s study included not only American contribution but was an international affair. On page eight of his introduction, Lawrence makes a valid point in discussing his purpose in this study. The Vietnam War was not just an extension of Vietnam struggle, but resulted from decisions made by leaders in Vietnam, the United States, and other foreign powers (Lawrence, 8.) His purpose is made clear through the validity of primary sources he included throughout the entire book.
Mark Atwood Lawrence uses many primary sources that enhance the credibility of his study and the overall experience of The Vietnam War: A Concise International History. As stated before, new information has recently been made available for use in Vietnam. Now available to scholars are “documentary records reflecting North Vietnamese, South Vietnamese, Chinese, Soviet, and East European calculations” (Lawrence, 2.) This can be anything written by Vietnamese writers or letters to and from these such nations. For example, after the Chinese Communists won over China, Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), wanted assistance. To this the leader of now communist China stated, “It is the duty of those countries that have achieved the victory of their own...

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