Bystanders to the Vietnam War

The Role of the United States Senate, 1950–1965


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About the Book

Who was most responsible for the Vietnam War? Did President Lyndon Johnson simply continue the policies of his predecessors, Eisenhower and Kennedy, or was he the principal architect? What responsibility did Congress share? Was the Senate a coequal partner in creating the Vietnam policy or a secondary player?
Focusing on the U.S. Senate’s role in the war, this history records the various senators’ views in their own words. The author demonstrates that during the 20-year conflict—as throughout American history—the president was the principal formulator of policy on war and peace, including during the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

About the Author(s)

Ronald Allen Goldberg was a long time professor of U.S. history and former chairman of the history department at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Ronald Allen Goldberg
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 159
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6891-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3378-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1

I. Historical Introduction  3

II. The Years of Growing Involvement  14

III. The Decision Not to Intervene  31

IV. The Creation of the Southeast Asia

Treaty Organization  45

V. The Geneva Conference  58

VI. The Quiet Years  71

VII. The Kennedy Years  84

VIII. The Tonkin Gulf Affair  100

IX. The Decision to Escalate  117

X. Conclusions  131

Chapter Notes  135

Bibliography  141

Index  145

Book Reviews & Awards

“Concise…Overall, this succinct book provides a useful overview of the Senate’s rather limited role in making Vietnam policy…The book will clearly be useful in courses on Vietnam as well as courses looking at Congress’s role in making foreign policy. Casual readers will benefit from its writing the Senate back into the history.”—H-Net Reviews