Sunday, December 03, 2006

You always find something new and unexpected on the shelves at Brookline Booksmith. Today's find: "Triumph Forsaken", by one Martin Moyar of the Marine Corps University. His thesis, says the blurb:
Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States.

That's right: this is the first book ever to properly survey the toppling of the dominos after the fall of Saigon, and the way that the subsequent erosion of both regional interests and American prestige contributed to the collapse of America's dominant position in the former Western alliance during the 1980s. It's only through a scenario like this that Vietnam could be shown to be not merely an "important" interest, but "vital" --- and yet, if you read the stuff coming out of more conventional universities, dominated as they are by liberal scholars, you'd think that none of this stuff had ever happenned at all.

And yet, strangely, this blurb didn't tempt me to page through and look further, much less to actually buy the book.

Brookline Booksmith isn't exactly hurting; over the past year I've bought at least a dozen volumes from them in hardcover, though nothing with a thesis quite as revolutionary as Moyar's...


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