The Vietnam War

A Military History

Coming Soon


By Geoffrey Wawro

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$50.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $40.00 $50.00 CAD
  2. ebook $19.99 $25.99 CAD

The first comprehensive military history of the war in Vietnam

The Vietnam War cast a shadow over the American psyche from the moment it began. In its time it sparked budget deficits, campus protests, and an erosion of US influence around the world. Long after the last helicopter evacuated Saigon, Americans have continued to battle over whether it was ever a winnable war.

Based on thousands of pages of military, diplomatic, and intelligence documents, Geoffrey Wawro’s The Vietnam War offers a definitive account of a war of choice that was doomed from its inception. In devastating detail, Wawro narrates campaigns where US troops struggled even to find the enemy in the South Vietnamese wilderness, let alone kill sufficient numbers to turn the tide in their favor. Yet the war dragged on, prolonged by presidents and military leaders who feared the political consequences of accepting defeat. In the end, no number of young lives lost or bombs dropped could prevent America’s ally, the corrupt South Vietnamese regime, from collapsing the moment US troops retreated.

Broad, definitive, and illuminating, The Vietnam War offers an unsettling, resonant story of the limitations of American power.
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  • “There have been countless books written about the Vietnam War but, until now, no comprehensive military history. Geoffrey Wawro capably fills that gap with his new book. He provides an account of America's worst military defeat that is not only accurate but also eye-opening. He has managed to unearth a great deal of fascinating material and to place it in the proper historical context. In the process he demolishes many myths and clears away many misunderstandings. An essential read.”
    Max Boot, author of The Road Not Taken
  • “Fifty years after it came to an end, the Vietnam war still casts a shadow over American life. Geoffrey Wawro has written a brilliant, gripping account of that conflict and its effects, rigorous in military and political detail, but never lacking in empathy and humanity when considering the human cost. A definitive account.”
    Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally
  • “Geoffrey Wawro has written an excellent history of the Vietnam War that includes important lessons learned from that war. These are valuable insights that our political and military leaders would be wise to consider before committing our forces in future conflicts.”
    General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Retired)
  • “Geoff Wawro’s Vietnam War pits one of the sharpest historians of his generation against the most controversial war in US history. Sparks fly throughout, as Wawro zeroes in relentlessly on the mistakes, misjudgments, and the hubris that led to American defeat in Vietnam. It is not a pretty picture: politicians and generals floundering in a sea of tables, charts, and graphs; young men in the field fighting and dying as they try to learn the art of jungle warfare on the fly. Featuring deep research, unsparing analysis, and Wawro’s always brilliant writing, The Vietnam War delivers across the board.”
    Robert M. Citino, Senior Historian, National World War II Museum

On Sale
Oct 1, 2024
Page Count
656 pages
Basic Books

Geoffrey Wawro

About the Author

Geoffrey Wawro is University Distinguished Research Professor and director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas and the author of seven books, including Quicksand: America’s Pursuit of Power in the Middle East and Sons of Freedom: The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I. Wawro lives in Dallas, Texas.

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