Dereliction of Duty by H. R. McMaster
Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam

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This angry book, by a former instructor at West Point, focuses on the escalation of the war in Vietnam from 1963 to 1965 and manages to indict just about everybody who was involved with that "bitch of a war."
-Foreign Affairs

Synopsis

"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C."
—H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion)

Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. McMaster pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants.

A page-turning narrative, Dereliction Of Duty focuses on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public.

McMaster’s only book, Dereliction of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam.

 

About H. R. McMaster

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H. R. McMaster, a recent award-winning teacher at West Point and an inspiring leader in the Gulf War, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1984 and has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of North Carolina. He is now attending the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS.
 
Published March 1, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 480 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, War, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 19 2017
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Critic reviews for Dereliction of Duty
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Unsparing in his analysis of the chiefs, McMaster takes them severely to task for their ``failure'' to provide LBJ with ``their best advice.'' A relentless, stinging indictment of the usual Johnson administration Vietnam War suspects.

Read Full Review of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson,... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Apr 22 2017

...McMaster, a serving officer and Gulf War combat veteran, casts a harsh but penetrating light on a crucial aspect of that conflict. He presents the war as a consequence of specific decisions made by specific men.

Read Full Review of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson,... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Foreign Affairs

Below average
Reviewed by David C. Hendrickson on Apr 01 1997

This angry book, by a former instructor at West Point, focuses on the escalation of the war in Vietnam from 1963 to 1965 and manages to indict just about everybody who was involved with that "bitch of a war."

Read Full Review of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson,...

HistoryNet

Good
Reviewed by Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr. on Aug 12 2001

...a masterful examination of the roots of the Vietnam War. This valuable work examines the U.S. government’s “arrogance, weakness, lying in pursuit of self-interest [and] abdication of responsibility to the American people” during the 1963­65 period when the foundation for the war was being laid.

Read Full Review of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson,...

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