Valley of death: the tragedy at Dien Bien Phu that led America into the Vietnam War

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This is a panoramic history taking the reader from 1940 through the aftermath of the harrowing, monumental French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, which ended colonial rule in China and led inexorably to America's Vietnam War.
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9781400066643
9781588369802
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Grouped Work ID 98e983c9-9384-5ffd-7368-bfbff18a76c3
Grouping Title valley of death the tragedy at dien bien phu that led america into the vietnam war
Grouping Author morgan ted
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-07-17 22:54:22PM
Last Indexed 2018-07-16 23:46:02PM

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author Ted Morgan
author_display Morgan, Ted
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collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description

Pulitzer Prize--winning author Ted Morgan has now written a rich and definitive account of the fateful battle that ended French rule in Indochina--and led inexorably to America's Vietnam War. Dien Bien Phu was a remote valley on the border of Laos along a simple rural trade route. But it would also be where a great European power fell to an underestimated insurgent army and lost control of a crucial colony. Valley of Death is the untold story of the 1954 battle that, in six weeks, changed the course of history.

A veteran of the French Army, Ted Morgan has made use of exclusive firsthand reports to create the most complete and dramatic telling of the conflict ever written. Here is the history of the Vietminh liberation movement's rebellion against French occupation after World War II and its growth as an adversary, eventually backed by Communist China. Here too is the ill-fated French plan to build a base in Dien Bien Phu and draw the Vietminh into a debilitating defeat--which instead led to the Europeans being encircled in the surrounding hills, besieged by heavy artillery, overrun, and defeated.

Making expert use of recently unearthed or released information, Morgan reveals the inner workings of the American effort to aid France, with Eisenhower secretly disdainful of the French effort and prophetically worried that "no military victory was possible in that type of theater." Morgan paints indelible portraits of all the major players, from Henri Navarre, head of the French Union forces, a rigid professional unprepared for an enemy fortified by rice carried on bicycles, to his commander, General Christian de Castries, a privileged, miscast cavalry officer, and General Vo Nguyen Giap, a master of guerrilla warfare working out of a one-room hut on the side of a hill. Most devastatingly, Morgan sets the stage for the Vietnam quagmire that was to come.

Superbly researched and powerfully written, Valley of Death is the crowning achievement of an author whose work has always been as compulsively readable as it is important.

From the Hardcover edition.

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id 98e983c9-9384-5ffd-7368-bfbff18a76c3
isbn 9781400066643, 9781588369802
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 959.704142 M8497v
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9781400066643
publishDate 2010
record_details ils:CARL0000344850|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Random House,|c2010.|xxii, 722 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map, plans ; 25 cm., overdrive:c5f3a838-4909-4457-8fc6-4a2e017bea0c|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2010|
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subject_facet Dien Bien Phu, Battle of, Địên Biên Ph̉u, Vietnam, 1954, Indochinese War, 1946-1954 -- Causes, United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1953, United States -- Foreign relations -- Vietnam, Vietnam -- Foreign relations -- United States
title_display Valley of death : the tragedy at Dien Bien Phu that led America into the Vietnam War
title_full Valley of Death The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War, Valley of death : the tragedy at Dien Bien Phu that led America into the Vietnam War / Ted Morgan
title_short Valley of death :
title_sub the tragedy at Dien Bien Phu that led America into the Vietnam War
topic_facet Causes, Dien Bien Phu, Battle of, Địên Biên Ph̉u, Vietnam, 1954, Foreign relations, History, Indochinese War, 1946-1954, Military, Nonfiction, Politics