Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam

Author(s): Fredrik Logevall

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This monumental history asks the simple question: How did we end up in a war in Vietnam? To answer that question Fredrik Logevall traces the forty-year path that led us from World War I to the first American casualties in 1959. Using fresh archives in Washington, Hanoi, and Paris, Cornell University Professor of History Fredrik Logevall shows how senior French and United States officials proved unwilling to confront reality in Vietnam, despite having excellent intelligence information at their disposal, and despite possessing their own private doubts about the prospects. And, to an astonishing degree, Embers of War shows how the problems Americans faced in Vietnam had been faced before them by the French. In Bernard Fall's words, Americans were "dreaming different dreams than the French but walking in the same footsteps."


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Praise for "Embers of War
""A monumental history . . . a widely researched and eloquently written account of how the U.S. came to be involved in Vietnam . . . certainly the most comprehensive review of this period to date.""--Wall Street Journal"
"Magesterial.""--""Foreign Affairs"
"A remarkable new history . . . Logevall skilfully explains everything that led up to Vietnam's fatal partition in 1954 . . . [and] peppers the grand sweep of his book with vignettes of remarkable characters, wise and foolish.""--""The Economist"
"[A] superbly written and well-argued reinterpretation of our tragic experience in Vietnam."--"Booklist
""Huge and engrossing . . . [Logevall] writes with an ambitious sweep and an instinct for pertinent detail. . . . If Logevall's earlier work stood up well in a crowded field, "Embers of War" stands alone. . . . What if ["Embers"] had been mandatory reading for Kennedy and his policy makers?"--"The National Interest"
"[Logevall] masterfully presents the war's roots in the U.S. reaction to the French colonial experience."--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
"Fascinating, beautifully-written . . . Logevall's account provides much new detail and important new insights. . . . It is impossible not to read the book without being struck by contemporary parallels."--"Foreign Policy"
"An encompassing, lucid account of the 40-year arc in which America's Southeast Asian adventure became inevitable . . . Logevall's prose is clean, his logic relentless, his tone unsparing, his vision broad and deep, his empathy expansive."--"Vietnam Magazine"
"Fredrik Logevall has gleaned from American, French, and Vietnamese sources a splendid account of France's nine-year war in Indochina and the story of how the American statesmen of the period allowed this country to be drawn into the quagmire."--Neil Sheehan, author of "A Bright Shining Lie, " winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

Fredrik Logevall was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1963, and lived thereafter in Vasteras. Logevall is a Swedish-American historian and educator at Cornell University, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies. He is a specialist in in U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam Wars. He is also the director of Cornell's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Logevall has lectured widely around the world on topics relating to diplomatic history and contemporary U.S. foreign policy, and has won numerous honors for his work. Among other awards, he has received the Stuart L. Bernath book, article, and lecture prizes as well as the Warren F. Kuehl Book Prize (2001) from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations;[3] and the W. Turrentine Jackson Book Award, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association (2000).[4] He was also selected as a "Top Young Historian" by History News Network.[5] A dedicated teacher, Logevall received the UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Prize for the Humanities and Fine Arts in 1998

General Fields

  • : 9780375504426
  • : Presidio Press
  • : Presidio Press
  • : September 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Fredrik Logevall
  • : Hardback
  • : 864