Examination of the My Lai massacre- one of the most infamous events of the Vietnam War Review of the book "My Lai: A Brief History with Documents" (James Stuart Olson, Randy Roberts)
This report will look at the book My Lai. Written by the history professors James S. Olson and Randy Roberts. Distinguished Professor of History in Houston, James S Olson is a historian whose main concern is recent American history. In this respect, he had been very interested in Vietnam, having edited the Dictionary of the Vietnam War and The Vietnam War: Handbook of the Literature and Research(1993). He co-wrote “Ma Lai” with Randy Roberts another History professor at Purdue University. He was also interested in recent American history. The Vietnam War was the lengthiest and probably one of the most polemical military conflicts in the history of the U.S.
In order to understand the complexity of the Vietnam War, it is necessary to look at the context and period of history in which this conflict took place. Problems started in Southeast Asia after the Second World War, when Japan decided to invade Vietnam, which used to be part of Indochina, controlled by the French. As Olson and Roberts established, “France imposed a new form of colonialism. French officials and their Vietnamese surrogates dominated the political bureaucracy" (Olson and Roberts: 3). Foreign occupation of Vietnam generated the creation of the nationalistic movement in Vietminh. In 1964, the American president Lyndon Baines Johnson ordered direct intervention in the conflict. Writers like Michael Lind had defended the argument that the intervention of the U.S. in Vietnam, arguing that the Vietnam War was unavoidable and “necessary” (Lind: 9).
The domino theory, seemed to provide a basis for this assumption, based in the belief that the defeat of South Vietnam would provoke the spread of communism to other areas of South East Asia and other parts of the world. Unlike in other Asian territories colonized by European countries, the ideology of Vietnam’s movement for independence was Communist. This transformed what was first a conflict for the independence of Vietnam into an ‘international conflict of vast proportions’ (Herring: 460). At that time, the American government believed in the domino theory. Herring questioned this assumption, arguing that the conflict in Indochina had its origin in France’s refusal to accept the independence of its colonies.
[...] Young argued, the Vietnam War generated lack of trust in the government: ‘many Americans born during the decade of the war grew up not believing anything their government told them’ (Young: 314). Even decades after the war, U.S. foreign policy was still influenced by the stigma of Vietnam. Commentators in favor of U.S. intervention in Vietnam labeled this problem as the “Vietnam syndrome”. As well as been the longest, Vietnam was ‘one of the most important wars in American history’ (Johnson: 732). [...]
[...] In the context of the Vietnam War and in the mind of the American people, the name My Lai has become synonymous with atrocity and war crime. James Olson and Randy Roberts’ book does certainly provide a very remarkable account of the My Lai massacre. For this reason, the text remains on the most invaluable apportions to the analysis of recent American history Using a wide range of sources, from press articles to direct testimony accounts, the authors provide a very detailed explanation of the specific characteristics of this dramatic incident in the history of South East Asia. [...]
Examination of the My Lai massacre, one of the most infamous events of the Vietnam War, Review of...
«Introduction. Review. Conclusion.»
«This report will analyze the book "My Lai" by the historians Olson and Roberts. To look at the different issues that surrounded the My Lai massacre, it is necessary to look at the specific situation of the area at the time. The Vietminh emerged in 1941 with the aim of obtaining independence for...»
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