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War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province ePub download

by Jeffrey Race

  • Author: Jeffrey Race
  • ISBN: 0520023617
  • ISBN13: 978-0520023611
  • ePub: 1807 kb | FB2: 1585 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Humanities
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1st Edition. edition (March 23, 1973)
  • Pages: 344
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Votes: 116
  • Format: lit docx mbr rtf
War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province ePub download

War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province by Jeffrey Race. His recent books include True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound and Decisions and Revisions in .

War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province by Jeffrey Race. Vladimir Bukovsky, Peter B. Reddaway. Stone (1907–1989) was an American journalist and publisher whose self-published newsletter, . Stone’s Weekly, challenged the conservatism of American journalism in the midcentury.

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I have two quibbles with War Comes to Long An: First, this is very much a dissertation and it sometimes descends into turgid 60s organizational sociology, to the detriment of actually making a point.

In hundreds of hours of interviews with government figures and Vietcong defectors, and thousands of pages of primary source analysis, Race describes how the revolutionary movement of the Vietcong out-strategized and overpower War Comes to Long An is prototype district study in the counter-insurgency literature; a cognizant and powerful case study of the loss of a key district in the Vietnam. I have two quibbles with War Comes to Long An: First, this is very much a dissertation and it sometimes descends into turgid 60s organizational sociology, to the detriment of actually making a point.

revolutionary conflict in a Vietnamese Province. Published 1972 by University of California Press in Berkeley. History, Vietnam Long An, Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975.

Revolutionary Conflict in A Vietnamese Province by J Race revd by J T McAlister J. War Comes to Long An is brilliantly conceived and executed; it achieves an excellence that sets new standards for scholarship on both Vietnam and the nature of revolution

Revolutionary Conflict in A Vietnamese Province by J Race revd by J T McAlister J. War Comes to Long An is brilliantly conceived and executed; it achieves an excellence that sets new standards for scholarship on both Vietnam and the nature of revolution. By focusing attention on Long An - a province strategically located just south of Saigon, astride key communication routes into the populous and ricerich Mekong Delta, and having just 350,000 people living on 540 square miles-the fundamental issues of revolution and counterrevolution are put into manageable, human terms.

Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador. New York: Cambridge University Press. Supporting Information Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article: Appendix A: Index construction and questionnaire text

Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador. Supporting Information Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article: Appendix A: Index construction and questionnaire text. Appendix B: Procedure for HES Index Construction Appendix C: Enemy Military Model (2A) Qualitative De scription Appendix D: Additional Tables and Maps Map: Bombing and control, Binh Tirong Province, South Vietnam, July 1969.

This landmark study of the Vietnamese conflict, examined through the lens of the revolutionary and y movements in the rural province of Long An up until American intervention in the area, offers . .

A new end chapter offers previously unpublished scholarship on the conflict. 2 people like this topic

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War comes to Long An: revolutionary conflict in a Vietnamese province. University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1972. The American University, WashingtonD.

This landmark study of the Vietnamese conflict, examined through the lens of the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements in the rural province of Long An up until American intervention in the area, offers a human, balanced, penetrating account of war. Two new forewords by Robert K. Brigham of Vassar College and Jeffrey Record of the Air War College explore the book's enduring influence. A new end chapter offers previously unpublished scholarship on the conflict.
Vobei
If you recently watched the Ken Burns opus on PBS and want to dig deeper into why the war proved so difficult to 'win', this may be the book for you. Consider this a case study in how the Communists won. The author researched and wrote the book after spending two years with the US Army in Vietnam. He returned to South Vietnam, focused on one province just south of Saigon and went to work. A rare American who learned Vietnamese on his own; he appears to have interviewed many prominent Government officials as well Viet Cong defectors.

The detail is impressive. The perspective is fair to both sides. Both sides had strategies; one had the strategy for victory; the other for defeat. The former he summarized as' the communist leadership's comprehensive view of revolution of as a stage by stage social process'.
It was first published in 1972 and reissued in 2010. Given the current interest in the Vietnam War, it reads like it all happened yesterday not fifty years ago.
Hurus
Legendary Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once quipped that "all politics is local." And Clausewitz famously wrote that "war is politics by other means." From these observations, one might extract a syllogism that applies quite well to the nature of modern warfare: "all insurgencies are local politics."

It is unlikely that you will find Jeffery Race's "War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province" on the shelf in your local bookstore next to "We Were Soldiers Once..And Young" or "The Best and the Brightest" - but it may be one of the most insightful pieces ever written about the Vietnam War. Moreover, it may be the most historically relevant case study to the US refocus on Afghanistan in 2009. The inescapable conclusion from "War Comes to Long An" (although Race does not say so directly) is that the US lost the war even before the first Marine combat units splashed ashore China Beach in March, 1965. Insurgencies are virtually never won by superior firepower. Rather, it is superior policy and a more integrated framework for approaching what is in essence a political and/or social schism that wins the day. Race's core message is that the communist forces fully understood the nature of the conflict in the South while for Saigon and Washington the fundamental social context of the struggle forever remained a "blank area of consciousness."

The focus of this book is a single South Vietnamese province (Long An: "Prosperous and Peaceful" ironically enough) in the period "between the wars" (i.e. the signing of the Geneva Accords in 1954 ending the post-colonial battle with the French and major US intervention in the mid-1960s). One of the special things about this book is the broad, deep and fresh perspectives that Race relies on. The material for the study is almost exclusively primary source, both direct interviews and official documents. He begins with three chapters of extended exerts from conversations with province officials, anonymous villagers, Viet Cong fighters, defectors, American military advisors and the like. The author makes almost no commentary or assessment on the feedback; he simply lets the actors tell their story from their unique perspective. However, a few themes quickly emerge from this mix of viewpoints. And these themes help explain, in Race's view, why the Party or "revolutionary" forces ultimately prevailed.

To begin with, there was a large, yet unrecognized disconnect between the Saigon government officials - often well-educated elites from central Vietnam (Hue, mainly), who took a generally paternalistic view of the relationship between government and the people - and the villagers of the province of Long An whom they served. The primary source materials reveal that the government officials genuinely believed that they were "close to the people" and that the people were content. If the government was so close to the people, as many Saigon-appointed district officials believed, then why did the revolution continue to grow? In the words of one Long An province chief, Bui van Ba, in 1968: "That is something that I have never been able to figure out."

Race argues that post-colonial Vietnam was ripe for social revolution. He employs the metaphor of a man with poor eye-sight. He may have been resigned to a life of squinting and discomfort when he knew no other way. But after he has had eye-glasses and has experienced the world around him in its full clarity and vibrancy he will never go back to the old way again. Race says that the period during the French war when peasants farmed the land of absentee landlords without paying rent and for the first time took some role of authority in their local communities was such a period.

The communists were able to exploit this fissure while the Saigon government officials and their American backers never even recognized that it existed. The Party developed a National Front (ostensibly non-communist) that operated from a simple, crisp narrative with broad appeal, and included an associated action plan that relied on a set of "contingency incentives" (i.e. ongoing benefits required ongoing VC local control): 1) want to keep your land, which the VC had worked to redistribute fairly and without alienating the landed peasants? Then fight the imperialists and feudalist band; 2) Want to fight the imperialist-feudalist band? Then pay your VC-imposed taxes and send your sons to fight with the VC. This program could only be successful if the Party had a firm grip on the lowest echelon of administrative control, the village council (ban hoi), and that body was granted the authority to make decisions that directly effected local life. In the words of one former Vietminh cadre: "You have the central government, then the province, district, and village. But the lowest of the four is the level that lies with the people. If the village level is weak, then I guarantee you, no matter how strong the central government is, it won't be able to do a thing." Race also claims that the communists downplayed the importance of armed force in establishing control. "We must rely on a seething mass political struggle movement, progressing from lower to higher forms...Armed activities only fulfill a supporting role for the political struggle movement." (March 1960 communist letter from the Regional Committee to the village level operation)

Saigon took the precisely opposite approach, vesting nearly all physical and bureaucratic power at the top of the pyramid. The aid programs the government did offer, such as new schools or roads, were not contingent on continuous government control of the area. Moreover, "the Saigon and the American governments ignored the redistributive issues and concentrated instead on 'development' and on certain suppressive and intelligence functions." Race argues that these development programs were certainly humanitarian but were "comprehended simply as a highly organized public-welfare or public-works effort" that were "irrelevant to the fundamental issues involved" in the conflict, namely the social reorganization of the entire nation at the village level.

The government forces in the south completely misunderstood both their success and failure, Race writes. For instance, there was a widespread belief that Saigon had been too passive in rooting out the communist organization in the south after the Geneva Accords in 1954, when in fact the VC were on the verge of liquidation by 1959. Secondarily, the leadership in Long An felt that there major shortcomings were insufficient military strength and the inability to use terror tactics like the VC ("Thus legality is our strength but also our weakness - our weakness because the people do not fear us."). In reality, Race says, the government forces always maintained overwhelming conventional military superiority over the communist insurgency and often behaved more brutally and impudently with the local population than the supposedly terroristic VC. Thus, the government forces erroneously saw themselves as getting buried under avalanche of foreign (i.e. North Vietnamese) manpower that co-opted the generally happy locals by the use of force and intimidation. According to Long An province chief (1957-1961) Mai Ngoc Douc: "I completely deny the view that the communists are strong here because they gotten the support of the people...the people are simply forced to follow the communists because of the threat of terror." Race stresses that the government never grasped that they faced a "coherent social process" of revolution. "The lesson of Long An is that what was attacked was a particular form of social organization, and only consequentially the government itself."

This failure to appreciate the true nature of the conflict led to the development of entirely inappropriate metrics, best exemplified by the Hamlet Evaluation System (HES). Race notes that the whole HES metric system was based on two critical factors that the anti-communist forces consistently misunderstood: security and development. For security the objective was the suppression of opposition not the absence of opposition, which Race argues would have been a more accurate and relevant measure. For development the author maintains that the conflict in the south was always about the redistribution of social power and values, not the incremental improvement of the poverty condition of the mass peasantry.

In closing, this a thought-provoking and sobering study - and one that should be read with care by contemporary policymakers and military officers.
Sirara
This book is a very dense, dry and scholarly review of how the onset of the Vietnam war affected one province of Vietnam and why, ultimately America did not prevail there. It is definitely not for those unused to scholarly and exhaustive writing but if that is what you are seeking it is at turns, fascinating and maddening. The author seems at times to get bogged down in details that seem irrelavant or overly expository. For the dedicated student of the Vietnam War it is definitely worth reading but for those looking for a more general overview, this is not the place to start.
Yannara
Simply the best book on the conduct of the war in Vietnam on the ground. Race was not pedantic in presenting "lessons learned" but the lessons are there to be learned for anyone willing to read the book. Sadly no one in authority in the US government -- especially David Petraeus who authored the Army handbook on postwar "stability operations" -- read this book before we started our trillion dollar campaign to win the hearts and minds of Afghans and Iraqis.
Ceroelyu
Amazing. Every high school or college student should be taught this story of a long and ugly struggle of the Vietnamese people against their own elite class. The courage of those who rebelled is amazing, and the people were so thoroughly downtroden. Then on top of that, the Americans, who had no idea what was really going on, came in and devastated the country.
Fato
"War Comes to Long An" deserves five stars if only for its moving final paragraph, which could serve as an epitaph for America's entire war in Vietnam. The book also deserves five stars as an outstanding example of humane and relevant social science: it developed a compelling model of village-level revolutionary war on the basis of extensive fieldwork and ground-level interviews in one South Vietnamese province (Long An). The book is nuanced, cliche-busting, and wise. It goes a long way toward explaining why the U.S. lost the war. There was nothing else like it when it came out in 1972. It is still outstanding, a classic. I put it down with only one question for the author, Jeffrey Race: Why didn't you publish more books?
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