Cover image for Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War : a political, social, and military history
Title:
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War : a political, social, and military history
Author:
Tucker, Spencer, 1937-
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
3 volumes (lii, 1196 pages) : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
v. 1. A-M -- v. 2. N-Z -- v. 3. Documents.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780874369830
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library DS557.7 .E539 1998 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
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Central Library DS557.7 .E539 1998 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
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Central Library DS557.7 .E539 1998 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

ABC-CLIO presents the largest and most comprehensive study to date of the wars in Vietnam. This authoritative, three volume masterwork details early U.S. involvement in Vietnam and brings Vietnamese history to the present with discussions of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 1975 through 1997.

Students and researchers will find that this comprehensive work includes more coverage of diverse topics, and more information on individual Vietnamese and American participants and earlier, relevant periods in Vietnamese history, than any other encyclopedia of its kind.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It ended a generation ago and is still with us. This superb reference work provides understanding and perspective of one of the greatest crises in U.S. history, and covers every conceivable aspect. The editor teaches military history at Virginia Military Institute and was an intelligence analyst during the war. The contributors are mainly history and political science professors from universities, but a number are from specialized institutions such as the Naval Historical Institute. Several contributors are Vietnamese. There are more than 900 alphabetically arranged entries, accompanied by 149 black-and-white photographs. The first volume contains an alphabetical list of entries, 22 line maps, and entries A^-M. The second volume has entries N^-Z, bibliographies (nonfiction, literature, and film), a chronology of events, and a glossary. The third volume provides documents, a few statistical tables, and an index. There are more than 200 documents, from "Ho Chi Minh's Speech at the Tours Congress" (1922) to "Remarks by President Clinton in Announcement of Normalization of Diplomatic Relations with Vietnam" (1995). The double-column entries are all signed, and each includes references for further reading, as well as see also references. Most of the references cited as source material, as well as the titles in the general bibliography, should be readily available. However, the only source material that exists for some of the entries is in French or Vietnamese. The articles range from a paragraph to several pages in length. They include prewar Vietnamese history, biographies, places, specific military operations, details of weapons systems, orders of battle (military units of all participants), involvement of France (both pre^-and post^-World War II) and other nations, and the war's impact on U.S. domestic life. The work is especially extensive on Vietnamese leaders, including those from earlier centuries, and in giving a sense of the diverse peoples in the land and how the country's specific conditions affected the war. Several biographies of U.S. leaders mention early caution signals that were not heeded. The work is exceptionally balanced in viewing the manipulation of information by U.S. military and political leaders, the U.S. antiwar movement, and failures in South Vietnam's leadership. Defoliation, changing U.S. strategies, posttraumatic stress disorder, veterans' groups, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the war and the arts, and the contributions of African Americans and women are discussed in detail. An examination of articles on Buddhists, geography, the Nguyen dynasty, and the fall of Ngo Dinh Diem found them to be accurate. Inevitably, with many contributors, there is some duplication, but the duplication is needed unless the reader is to continually refer to other entries. The entries are current, including events as recent as the March 1998 honor to a U.S. helicopter crew for stopping and reporting the My Lai massacre, and the April 1998 death of Pol Pot in Cambodia. The bibliographies (nonfiction, literature, and film) are extensive, and the 37-page chronology of events begins in 2879 B.C. and continues almost daily until April 30, 1975. The detailed 100-page index is accurate. While there is considerable overlap with Stanley Kutler's one-volume Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, published by Scribner just two years ago [RBB My 1 96], there are also important differences. Where Kutler tends toward generalization, Tucker has more extended treatment of particulars. There are 10 long overview essays in Kutler, on topics such as the antiwar movement, diplomacy, and the media, that provide useful background and context. Tucker, on the other hand, has separate entries on numerous aspects of the war that Kutler covers only within larger entries. Among these are discussions of the war's many operations--Operation Cedar Falls, Operation Game Warden, etc. Tucker's entries on individuals and battles are generally longer, and Tucker also has more coverage of people, both Vietnamese and French, who played roles in earlier Vietnamese history. Kutler has much fuller coverage of medical support systems on both sides of the war. Compared to Tucker's extensive collection of documents, Kutler includes just two. Tucker's Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War is comprehensive, detailed, and highly recommended. Any high-school, public, or academic library that does not own Kutler will want to purchase this new set. Larger collections should have both titles available for their patrons. For information on the Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War Web site, see Reference on the Web (see above).


Library Journal Review

Assembling a corps of experts on every aspect‘military, political, economic, and social‘of America's involvement in Vietnam's War for Independence, editor Tucker (John Biggs Professor of Military History, Virginia Military Inst.) has produced a remarkable resource, though one that is not without echoes of the controversies produced by the conflict. Nearly 1000 entries by over 138 contributors‘with documents from all periods and sources, some never seen before‘make this encyclopedia a central resource for information and analysis of this turning point in modern history. The text is illustrated‘rather sparingly for such a visible conflict‘with black-and-white photos. Libraries with Stanley Kutler's recent single-volume Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (LJ 1/97) could still benefit from the coverage here, as extensive as anything we'll likely see in several years. Recommended for all but the most specialized military and political collections. [Over the next 16 months, ABC-CLIO hopes to put this entire encyclopedia online on its own website, which will include a growing "diary" of E-mailed accounts from veterans.‘Ed.]‘Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up‘Providing interesting, well-researched articles on everything from the historical context to the important figures and key battles of this lengthiest of U.S. wars, this is a fine reference work that should be on every library shelf. The first two volumes contain more than 900 signed articles ranging in length from several paragraphs to several pages. Volume three provides a representative selection of documents pertaining to the war, beginning with a speech by Hô Chí Minh in 1920 and ending with President Clinton's announcement of normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1995. These primary sources add enormous value to the set. The writing is clear, unbiased, and informative. While protesters, activists, and movements are covered (e.g., Bobby Seale, the Berrigan brothers, the Black Panthers), there are some omissions. (Sidney Schanberg and Dith Pran, whose story was the basis for the movie, The Killing Fields, are not included). Though the black-and-white photos are not indexed, most of the images are evocative, dramatic, and well chosen. Unfortunately, the cross-referencing is disappointing; for example, names like Hô Chí Minh and Pol Pot are accessed by the first letter of the first name and students treating Minh or Pot as last names might miss these articles completely. Though this may not be the comprehensive encyclopedia it aspires to be, it is still the best there is on the subject.‘Herman Sutter, Saint Pius X High School, Houston, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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