Outspoken, professional and fearless, Lt. Col. John Paul Vann went to Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. He was soon appalled by the South Vietnamese troops' unwillingness to fight, by their random slaughter of civilians and by the arrogance and corruption of the US military. He flouted his supervisors and leaked his sharply pessimistic - and, as it turned out, accurate - assessments to the US press corps in Saigon. Among them was Sheehan, who became fascinated by the angry Vann, befriended him and followed his tragic and reckless career. Sixteen years in the making, A Bright Shining Lie is an eloquent and disturbing portrait of a man who in many ways personified the US war effort in Vietnam, of a solider cast in the heroic mould, an American Lawrence of Arabia. Blunt, idealistic, patronising to the Vietnamese, Vann was haunted by a shameful secret - the fact that he was the illegitimate son of a 'white trash' prostitute. Gambling away his career, Vann left the army that he loved and returned to Vietnam as a civilian in the pacification programme. He rose to become the first American civilian to wield a general's command in war. When he was killed in 1972, he was mourned at Arlington cemetery by leading political figures of the day. Sheehan recounts his astonishing story in this intimate and intense meditation on a conflict that scarred the conscience of a nation.
In the spring of 1972, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam in what became known as the Easter Offensive. Almost all of the American forces had already withdrawn from Vietnam except for a small group of American advisers to the South Vietnamese armed forces. The 23rd ARVN Infantry Division and its American advisers were sent to defend the provincial capital of Kontum in the Central Highlands. They were surrounded and attacked by three enemy divisions with heavy artillery and tanks but, with the help of air power, managed to successfully defend Kontum and prevent South Vietnam from being cut in half and defeated. Although much has been written about the Vietnam War, little of it addresses either the Easter Offensive or the Battle of Kontum. In Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam, Thomas P. McKenna fills this gap, offering the only in-depth account available of this violent engagement. McKenna, a U.S. infantry lieutenant colonel assigned as a military adviser to the 23rd Division, participated in the battle of Kontum and combines his personal experiences with years of interviews and research from primary sources to describe the events leading up to the invasion and the battle itself. Kontum sheds new light on the actions of U.S. advisers in combat during the Vietnam War. McKenna's book is not only an essential historical resource for America's most controversial war but a personal story of valor and survival.
This book is the first to demonstrate the practical implications of an important, yet under-considered area of psychology in helping traders and investors understand the biases and attribution errors that drive unpredictable behaviour on the trading floor. Readers will improve their chances of trading successfully by learning where cognitive biases lead to errors in stock analysis and how these biases can be used to predict behavior in market participants. Focusing on the three major types of bias—Belief-Formation, Quasi-Economic, and Social—the book provides a rigorous discussion of the literature before explaining how each of these biases plays out in financial markets. The author brings together the fields of philosophical psychology and behavioral finance to introduce "theory of mind," providing readers with tools to predict biases in others as well as using these predictions to form optimal trading strategies for themselves. Readers will also learn to understand their own behaviors, counteracting biases such as overconfidence and conformity—and the "curse" of their own knowledge—to strengthen trade performance. Pairing his skill and experience with an extensive research bibliography, Short positions the foundational sources of cognitive biases alongside concrete examples, experimental designs, and trader’s anecdotes, helping readers to apply theoretical guidelines to real-life scenarios. Shrewd professionals and MBA students will benefit from The Psychology of Successful Trading’s intuitive structure and practical focus.
This collection of essays on a wide range of subjects is witness to the author's stimulating cultural symbiosis with Tunisia, where over a period of more than thirty years, he became a kind of Irish 'Barbarian'.
Soldier Talk is a collection of essays about the Vietnam combat veteran and his representation of his experience. The Vietnam War created a vast archive of recorded accounts of the war, permitting an unprecedented opportunity to confront its brutal secrets. This book is about how to read and how to hear the historical, psychological, and narrative truths of soldiers' talk. The ten chapters explore the phenomenon of soldier talk; the oral narrative form of so much of the Vietnam War literature; the collection of veteran interviews published under the title Nam; Vietnam War poetry; the strange tale of Bobby Garwood, the private who disappeared 10 days before he was to return home and surfaced 13 years later in Hanoi; Vietnam oral history and revolutionary socialism; the historiography of the Vietnam War; "queering Vietnam"; the African American experience of Vietnam; and women and the war. Along the way the authors touch on most of the best-known and most important writing to come out of the war.
American foreign policy since World War II has actively sought to reshape both domestic and international orders to hasten the coming of the end of history in a peaceful democratic utopia. While the end of the Cold War heightened optimism that this goal was near, policymakers still face dramatic challenges. In War, Welfare & Democracy, Peter J. Munson argues that the foreign policy problems we face today stem from common roots—the modern state system's struggle to cope with the pressures of market development and sociopolitical modernization. Washington's policies seek to treat challenges as varied as insurgency, organized crime, fiscal crises, immigration pressures, authoritarianism, and violations of human rights with a schizophrenic mix of realpolitik and idealism. The ideologies that inform this outlook were born during the Great Depression and two world wars and honed during the early years of the Cold War. Although the world has long since changed, American policy has failed to adjust. The world's leading welfare states face a crisis of aging populations, shrinking revenues, and spiraling costs in their attempts to provide services and social security for their citizens, compounding this inflexibility. By addressing the inequality of wealth, security, and stability brought on by dramatic economic change and modernization, Munson describes how the United States can lead in reforming the welfare state paradigm and adjust its antiquated policies to best manage the transformation we all must face.
More than a quarter of a century after the last Marine Corps Huey left the American embassy in Saigon, the lessons and legacies of the most divisive war in twentieth-century American history are as hotly debated as ever. Why did successive administrations choose little-known Vietnam as the "test case" of American commitment in the fight against communism? Why were the "best and brightest" apparently blind to the illegitimacy of the state of South Vietnam? Would Kennedy have pulled out had he lived? And what lessons regarding American foreign policy emerged from the war? The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War helps readers understand this tragic and complex conflict. The book contains both interpretive information and a wealth of facts in easy-to-find form. Part I provides a lucid narrative overview of contested issues and interpretations in Vietnam scholarship. Part II is a mini-encyclopedia with descriptions and analysis of individuals, events, groups, and military operations. Arranged alphabetically, this section enables readers to look up isolated facts and specialized terms. Part III is a chronology of key events. Part IV is an annotated guide to resources, including films, documentaries, CD-ROMs, and reliable Web sites. Part V contains excerpts from historical documents and statistical data.