The British and the Vietnam War: Their Way with LBJ

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By Nicholas Tarling

During the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, the British government sought to avoid escalation of the war in Vietnam and to help bring about peace. The thinking that lay behind these endeavours was often insightful and it is hard to argue that the attempt was not worth making, but the British government was able to exert little, if any, influence on a power with which it believed it had, and needed, a special relationship. Drawing on little-used papers in the British archives, Nicholas Tarling describes the making of Britain’s Vietnam policy during a period when any compromise proposed by London was likely to be seen in Washington as suggestive of defeat, and attempts to involve Moscow in the process over-estimated the USSR’s influence on a Hanoi determined on reunification.

The British and the Vietnam War completes Nicholas Tarling's trilogy on the Second Indochina War seen from a British perspective, following his Britain and the Neutralisation of Laos, and Britain and Sihanouk¹s Cambodia. Meticulously researched and written, it provides an alternative to overwhelmingly American focus of much of the existing literature, and is an indispensable source of information for anyone interested in the international politics of the Second Indochina War."
Ang Cheng Guan, Nanyang Techological University

Nicholas Tarling was Professor of History at the University of Auckland 1968-97 and has since been a Fellow of its New Zealand Asia Institute. He holds the Cambridge LittD degree. He was editor of The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia and has published many other books and articles in that field and others. Among the most recent are Britain, Southeast Asia and the Impact of the Korean WarBritain and the Neutralisation of Laos, Britain and Sihanouk's Cambodia, and Studying Singapore's Past: C.M. Turnbull and the History of Modern Singapore.


Publication Year: 2017
462 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-981-4722-23-0, Paperback

NUS Press