The Road Not Taken by Max Boot
Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam

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Controversial in some of its conclusions, perhaps, as Lansdale’s arguments were in their day, and essential reading for students of military policy and the Vietnam conflict.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.
 

About Max Boot

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A Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a renowned military historian, Max Boot is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Savage Wars of Peace and War Made New, he lives in New York.
 
Published January 9, 2018 by Liveright. 766 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 24 2017

Controversial in some of its conclusions, perhaps, as Lansdale’s arguments were in their day, and essential reading for students of military policy and the Vietnam conflict.

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