Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream - Chapter 9, Vietnam Summary & Analysis

Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Chapter 9, Vietnam Summary and Analysis

Johnson's beliefs about Vietnam were inextricably tied to his own personality and to history as he had lived it. Above all, he did not want to be perceived as a coward, and not to take a military stand in Vietnam would mean he had capitulated to a bully. He had been a senator throughout the post World War II era and saw Communism as a unified dangerous threat to the free world. If South Vietnam were to fall to Communist North Vietnam, then all of Southeast Asia was in jeopardy. Unfortunately, this simplistic view was a dinosaur and, while many shared it, political scientists and historians were already pointing out the splintering of the Communist world and the nationalistic rather than Communist goals driving Ho Chi Minh. This conflict in Vietnam, they posited, was essentially a civil war. The...

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This section contains 642 words
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