Garrett Burnett's Reviews > Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam

Lessons in Disaster by Gordon M. Goldstein
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Nov 10, 09

bookshelves: history, war, politics
Read in November, 2009

Lessons in Disaster provides a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at the political machinations and gamesmanship roiling in the White House. McGeorge Bundy was the national security advisor for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. The author, Gordon Goldstein, had worked extensively with Bundy in his later years for a biography that eventually fell through. Goldstein wrote this book instead. He examines the choices that led to the expansion of the Vietnam War. Kennedy comes out looking much better than Johnson in Goldstein's treatment--less hawkish and more restrained. Goldstein separates the chapters into six lessons, including "Conviction without rigor is a strategy for disaster" and "Never deploy military means in pursuit of indeterminate ends." While lessons with titles like these don't exactly beg to be read, they are well-thought-out, insightful, and detailed. No one can accuse Goldstein of "conviction without rigor."
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message 1: by Beckie (new)

Beckie Okay you are one serious reader


Garrett Burnett I don't think anyone has ever called me a serious *anything* before!


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