Product Cover Image

Tragedy of Vietnam, 4th Edition

By Patrick J Hearden

Published by Routledge

Published Date: Jun 24, 2011



The Tragedy of Vietnam is a brief and accessible text that provides comprehensive coverage of the causes and consequences of the Vietnam War. The book provides extensive background on the Vietnam War, the relevant history of Southeast Asia and the consequences of the Vietnam conflict on the region.


Author Patrick Hearden examines the key decisions and questions surroudning the tragic American entanglement in Vietnam, providing readers with a fascinating discussion of why the United States became involved in this war and why this involvement persisted for nearly a quarter of a century. This book covers the social, economic, ideological, diplomatic and military aspects of the Vietnam War.

Table of Contents



Map of Southeast Asia 


Chapter 1  The French Indochina Empire

The Emergence of Vietnam

The Establishment of French Rule

The Roots of Nationalism and Communism

The Rise of the Vietminh

Document 1-1   Jules Ferry On the Preservation of Capitalism and Colonialism

Document 1-2   Appeal on the Founding of the Communist Party

Document 1-3   Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


Chapter 2    The Dream of a Pax Americana

Blueprints for a New World Order

The First Indochina War

The Crisis of World Capitalism

The Bao Dai Regime

Document 2-1   State Department Policy Statement on Indochina prepared on September 27, 1948.

Document 2-2   Problem Paper prepared by a Working Group in the State Department on February 1, 1950

Document 2-3  Paper on Indochina prepared in the State Department on March 27, 1952

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


Chapter 3  America’s Mandarin

The Road to Dien Bien Phu

The Geneva Peace Settlement

The Birth of a Client State

The Revolt in the Rice Fields

Document 3-1  The Final Declaration on Indochina of the Geneva Conference promulgated on July 21, 1954

Document 3-2  Report on the Covert Operations Conducted by the Saigon Military Mission in 1954 and 1955

Document 3-3   John Foster Dulles, Report on Meeting with Chiefs of American Missions, March 2, 1955

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


CHAPTER 4  The Summons of the Trumpet

The Global Domino Theory

The Second Indochina War

The Growth of the Vietcong

The Plot to Topple Diem

Document 4-1  State Department Cable to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge in Saigon on August 24, 1963

Document 4-2   Ambassador Lodge Cable to the State Department on October 5, 1963

Document  4-3  National Security Adviser Mc George Bundy Cable to Ambassador Lodge on October 30, 1963

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


CHAPTER 5  The Master of Deceit

Political Disorder in South Vietnam

The Gulf of Tonkin Affair

The Rhetoric of Restraint

The Decision to Bomb North Vietnam

Document 5-1 The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, August 7, 1964

Document 5-2  Lyndon Johnson on the Bombing of North Vietnam, September 8, 1964

Document 5-3  Memorandum from McGeorge Bundy to President Lyndon Johnson, February 7, 1965

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


CHAPTER 6   The Escalating Military Stalemate

The Dispatch of American Ground Troops

The Protracted War of Attrition

The American Antiwar Movement

The Tet Offensive

Document 6-1  Memorandum on Combat Troops in South Vietnam, July 1, 1965

Document 6-2  Memorandum on Increasing American Troops in Vietnam, July 20, 1965

Document 6-3   Notes from Lyndon Johnson’s Meeting with Advisory Group, March 26, 1968

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


CHAPTER 7   Withdrawal Without Victory 

The Madman Theory

The Vietnamization Policy

The Paris Peace Treaty

The Fall of Saigon

Document 7-1  Richard Nixon, Address on the War in Vietnam, November 3, 1969

Document 7-2   Statement on Vietnam Peace Treaty Negotiations, October 26, 1972

Document 7-3  Richard Nixon, Letter to Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, February 1, 1973

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions


CHAPTER 8   The War That Nobody Won

The Ugly Aftermath of War

The Failure of Communism in Vietnam

The Vietnamese Turn Toward Capitalism

The Road to Reconciliation 

Document 8-1  Report on POW/MIAs, January 13, 1993

Document 8-2  Free Trade Agreement, July 13, 2000

Document 8-3   Condoleezza Rice, Remarks at Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, November 18, 2006

Chronological List of Main Events

Study Questions

Selected Bibliography





Tragedy of Vietnam, 4th Edition

This publication is not currently for sale.