Military History/Vietnam War


Hi Marc,

Hope you don't mind me picking your brain. I've been doing some research about the Vietnam War and had a few questions for you.

My first question is a personal one and that is "why do you think the US went to war with Vietnam?"

My second one I have had some trouble finding good information on and that is "during peace talks between the US and Vietnam was there any outside mediators?

My last question is "why did the US lose the War? Was it because politics back home, the introduction of on the ground news reports, or military tactics?"

I know my questions are all over the map, any help would be awesome!!

Thanks a ton! Ben

All of your question are good. On the other hand, entire books have been written about each of the questions you ask.

I'd suggest you go to one or more of the following books, which are, I believe, the best for what you're looking for.

George Herring, America's Longest War.

Stanley Karnow, Vietnam: A History

Neil Sheehan, A Bright, Shining Lie

Hal Moore and Joe Galloway, We Were Soldiers Once and Young

If you'd like my opinion, I'd say we went to war in the belief that we had to try to stem the tide of worldwide communist revolution. I'm sure there were other factors, political and economic.

As for good info on the Paris Peace Talks, I would not go by Henry Kissinger's and Richard Nixon's self-serving memoirs. Again, check out the books above for more objective reporting. Try this Encyclopedia Brittanica entry to get some details:

I believe we lost the war because the American public got fed up with the nature of the war and demanded that the war come to an end. It wasn't "politics;" it was that after years and years of seeing no progress and ultimately 58,000 troops killed, the majority of people in the country demanded that their leaders end the thing.

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Marc Leepson


I can answer most questions dealing with all aspects of U.S. military history. My expertise is the Vietnam War. I also have written extensively about the U.S. Civil War, World War II, World War I, The Philippine War, and the American Revolution. My books include a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, the history of the American Flag, and the post-Jefferson history of Monticello, and therefore know a great deal about those specific subjects. I specialize in writing about matters of strategy--not tactics. And I also am interested in personalities. I have very little knowledge about ordnance or the value of old military memorabilia. Nor do I know a lot about uniforms and insignia--except about the Vietnam War. To repeat: I have no expertise in assessing the value of ordnance or uniforms or any type of military equipment. And my knowledge about military uniforms is only limited to those of the Vietnam War era. If you have questions on these topics, I recommend contacting an antiques dealer in your area who specializes in military uniforms, ordnance, etc.


Author and journalist with more than 35 years' experience.

Authors Guild BIO International

New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribute, New York Newsday, the Arizona Republic, St. Petersburg Times, Detroit News. Magazines: Smithsonian, Preservation, The VVA Veteran, Vietnam, Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Military History, World War II. Editor: The Webster's New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War

BA, 1967, George Washington University, History MA, 1971, George Washington University, European History

Awards and Honors
Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award, 2011

Past/Present Clients
Vietnam Veterans of America

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