The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War.
In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908– 1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a “hearts and mind” diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America’s giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to neverbefore-seen documents—including long-hidden love letters—Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish “T. E. Lawrence of Asia” from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975. Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called “ugly American,” this “engrossing biography” (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.
Great Vietnam Lesson
I appreciated this perspective on the war. Too often we focus on military solutions which fail in these situations! It would be great if we could only learn this lesson.
Thank you for writing
Hello Max, fascinating book that is well crafted.
Most important this story and works of Ed Lansdale is disseminated widely.
I had the great honor of meeting LTG. Samuel V Wilson, another
Authentic American Hero-Patriot!
Best regards, John Keogh
- Category: Military
- Published: Jan 09, 2018
- Publisher: Liveright
- Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
- Print Length: 784 Pages
- Language: English