In this concise and lively volume, award-winning author Robert Buzzanco examines the role America played in the Vietnam War and how the consequences of this involvement dramatically changed American politics, culture, and society at a period when the United States was most vulnerable. Divided into two sections, Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life begins with a history of the emergence of Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese nationalist movement and explains why the United States intervened in Vietnam despite pessimism over American military prospects there. Buzzanco then traces the repeated escalations of the war in the Johnson and Nixon years, and, finally, the causes and consequences of American defeat. Part Two focuses on the major political and social movements of the 1960s: liberalism, civil rights, women's liberation, student activist movements protesting the war, and other youth culture movements. The book demonstrates how domestic mobilization against the war changed US political and social life and these changes gave rise, in turn, to other movements and consequent changes of great significance to American society.
The Vietnam War, which dominated American life during the 1960s, helped to create, radicalize, and alter social and political life in the US. In Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life Robert Buzzanco generates fresh and intriguing insights that will inspire both students and general readers as they approach this dramatically divisive, volatile, and ultimately crucial period of American history.