Turning Points (Hardback)
The Role of the State Department in Vietnam (1945–75)
Ten years after the end of the American involvement in the Vietnam War, a career Foreign Service officer, Thomas J. Corcoran, set down in writing his thoughts on the history of U.S. State Department policy during America's involvement with South Vietnam. Like many Americans of his generation, he was perplexed by the failure of America to achieve its goals in South Vietnam. As an ambassador and with over 30 years of diplomatic experience – beginning in 1948 when he was assigned to Hanoi and involving other postings in Southeast Asia – he brought to his analysis a long and rich personal experience with events in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The result is a thoughtful, objective and well-researched study that chronicles the key policy decisions made by the US State Department throughout the entire period from 1945 to 1975; decisions that ultimately led to the first war lost by the United States. In his extensive study, Corcoran does an excellent job of exposing many of the myths and falsehoods found in orthodox histories of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.