No, the title of this post is not the subheading of the ISG report. Rather, it's the title of a remarkable book by Mark Moyar.
Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965
If all you know about the Vietnam War is what you learned from TV documentaries and Hollywood movies, you need to read this book. If you think you already know everything there is to know about the Vietnam War, you need to read this book, because I can almost guarantee that you don't.
Triumph Forsaken is the first of a two-part history of the war by Moyar that challenges much of the conventional wisdom about Vietnam and shoots holes in many long-held conclusions. It's not merely an opinion-filled polemic however. Moyar has dug deep into the archives of all the relevant parties, including unearthing a good deal of information that has only been made available in recent years.
In particular, he sets his sights on some of the journalists whose reporting and writing on the war has largely shaped the public impressions of it to this day. Halberstam, Sheehan, and Karnow all come under fire for the way they misrepresented what was really going on to suit their own biases and were intentionally mislead by South Vietnamese sources and stringers, who in some cases were actually communist agents. Sound familiar?
But don't just take my word for it. Check out the glowing reviews at the Triumph Forsaken Official Website. Better yet, be sure to tune in to the Northern Alliance Radio Network this Saturday, when we'll be interviewing Mark Moyar at noon (central time). Listen locally on AM-1280 The Patriot WWTC or from just about anywhere on this pale blue dot via the internet stream.
UPDATE-- Chris e-mails to suggest that this is also a good Vietnam War read:
Vietnam: The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America's Most Disastrous Military Conflict by Michael Lind