Reckless by Robert K. Brigham audiobook

Reckless: Henry Kissinger and the Tragedy of Vietnam

By Robert K. Brigham
Read by Jeff Bottoms

PublicAffairs, Public Affairs
10.08 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781549142123

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    ISBN: 9781549146503

Henry Kissinger’s role in the Vietnam War prolonged the American tragedy and doomed the government of South Vietnam The American war in Vietnam was concluded in 1973 after eight years of fighting, bloodshed, and loss. Yet the terms of the truce that ended the war were effectively identical to what had been offered to the Nixon administration four years earlier. Those four years cost America and Vietnam thousands of lives and billions of dollars, and they were the direct result of the supposed master plan of the most important voice in American foreign policy: Henry Kissinger. Using newly available archival material from the Nixon Presidential Library, Kissinger’s personal papers, and material from the archives in Vietnam, Robert K. Brigham punctures the myth of Kissinger as an infallible mastermind. Instead, he constructs a portrait of a rash, opportunistic, and suggestible politician. It was personal political rivalries, the domestic political climate, and strategic confusion that drove Kissinger’s actions. There was no great master plan or Bismarckian theory that supported how the United States continued the war or conducted peace negotiations. Its length was doubled for nothing but the ego and poor judgment of a single figure. This distant tragedy, perpetuated by Kissinger’s actions, forever changed both countries. Now, perhaps for the first time, we can see the full scale of that tragedy and the machinations that fed it.

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Summary

Summary

Henry Kissinger’s role in the Vietnam War prolonged the American tragedy and doomed the government of South Vietnam

The American war in Vietnam was concluded in 1973 after eight years of fighting, bloodshed, and loss. Yet the terms of the truce that ended the war were effectively identical to what had been offered to the Nixon administration four years earlier. Those four years cost America and Vietnam thousands of lives and billions of dollars, and they were the direct result of the supposed master plan of the most important voice in American foreign policy: Henry Kissinger.

Using newly available archival material from the Nixon Presidential Library, Kissinger’s personal papers, and material from the archives in Vietnam, Robert K. Brigham punctures the myth of Kissinger as an infallible mastermind. Instead, he constructs a portrait of a rash, opportunistic, and suggestible politician. It was personal political rivalries, the domestic political climate, and strategic confusion that drove Kissinger’s actions. There was no great master plan or Bismarckian theory that supported how the United States continued the war or conducted peace negotiations. Its length was doubled for nothing but the ego and poor judgment of a single figure.

This distant tragedy, perpetuated by Kissinger’s actions, forever changed both countries. Now, perhaps for the first time, we can see the full scale of that tragedy and the machinations that fed it.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Brigham makes a strong case that Kissinger’s war policy-making was ‘a total failure’….Making good use of new primary source material…he destroys Kissinger’s carefully and deceptively cultivated image as a foreign policy guru….[Reckless] should change the minds of those who have believed Kissinger’s deceptive, self-aggrandizing re-writing of Vietnam War history.” Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine
“Brigham offers a persuasive argument…This all-but-total condemnation…confirms what many Kissinger skeptics have believed for decades and may change the minds of some who have believe him to be a foreign policy guru.” Publishers Weekly
“One of the most compelling elements of the book is Brigham’s portrayal of Kissinger’s manipulation of an emotionally insecure Nixon. The president often responded by expressing doubts about Kissinger’s methods, but he did Kissinger’s bidding more often than not.” Kirkus Reviews
“Narrator Jeff Bottoms sets the perfect tone for this indictment of the lead US negotiator…Bottoms sounds cool and analytical as he provides the knowing voice of hindsight.” AudioFile
“A welcome, much-needed reexamination of the secret negotiations that led to America’s withdrawal from the Vietnam War. Using impressive new research, Robert K. Brigham skillfully analyzes the origins of the 1973 Paris Agreement and persuasively debunks the myth of Henry Kissinger as a diplomat of rare ability.” George C. Herring, author of America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975
“Robert K. Brigham, drawing on many previously unpublished official transcripts and records, makes a scholarly and convincing case that Henry Kissinger’s policy making on Vietnam during the Nixon Administration was ‘reckless.’” Craig R. Whitney, Saigon correspondent and bureau chief of the New York Times, 1971-1973

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Robert K. Brigham

Author Bio: Robert K. Brigham

Robert. K. Brigham is the Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of history and international relations at Vassar College. He is a specialist on the history of US foreign policy. His fellowships include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for Humanities. Heis author or co-author of nine books, among them Iraq, Vietnam, and the Limits of American Power and Argument without End.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.08
Audience: Adult
Language: English