Dereliction of Duty by H. R. McMaster

Dereliction of Duty

By H. R. McMaster

  • Release Date: 2011-03-01
  • Genre: History
Score: 4
From 30 Ratings
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"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C."
—H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion)

Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. McMaster pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants.

A page-turning narrative, Dereliction Of Duty focuses on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public.

McMaster’s only book, Dereliction of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam.


  • Powerful Analysis but a slog to read

    By Hayward777
    The analysis is keen. It is very upsetting to learn that political mismanagement, deception, and lies caused the deaths of 58,000 unknowing military. Too many paragraphs are stuffed with too many names, titles, and initials that slow and cloud comprehension. In the 60s the protesting kids in the streets had more sense and wisdom than the president and his Harvard whiz kids.