The Vietnam War was one of the longest and most controversial wars in U.S. his-
tory. It sparked much debate at the time and divided the country like no other event
since the Civil War. Although the war was over more than 40 years ago, it contin-
to affect public policy and casts a long shadow over contemporary conflicts. ues
There are still a lot of questions about how and why the United States became
involved in Vietnam, the impact of the war on American society and politics, and
the legacies of the war that remain with us today. This book seeks to answer some
of these questions and address the more significant and salient issues from the war
and its aftermath.
The book is organized into an introduction followed by a set of topical sections
which include entries meant to address the respective topics. Each of these sections
includes an overview, entries on major battles, military and political leaders, and
other key individuals. Additionally, each topical section includes selected docu-
ments appropriate to the respective topics. Where applicable, there will also be
selected maps and images. The topical section will be followed by a detailed chro-
nology and a selected bibliography.
I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Professor Spencer
C. Tucker and the other contributors to this book. I take full responsibility for any
mistakes that may appear.
James H. Willbanks