Official Review: Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold Wa...

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kislany
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Official Review: Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold Wa...

Post by kislany » 25 Jan 2018, 09:17

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991." by Neal F. Thompson.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Neal F. Thompson, in his nonfiction book Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991, made me realize that everything I know about the Cold War American history might be a lie.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s, at the peak of Romania’s Communist dictatorship era of the Ceausescu regime, so I was aware of the Cold War that had taken place a few decades before my time. USSR was north of us still looming over the horizon. America was the country everyone wanted to escape to, everyone looked up to. It was the world’s superpower, the one shining pillar standing between freedom and our totalitarian regime. Little did I know that behind that angelic facade there were much more sinister forces at work.

The author leads us step by step through the most important events of those times starting with the end of WWII. The Truman era with the Korean War and the Truman Doctrine, followed by America’s sore point, the Vietnam War, and the end of the Cold War initiated by Ronald Reagan are just some highlights from the long and complex book. Neal F. Thompson works hard to expose America’s dirty secrets that people who follow the news through the radio, television, and media might not know about. And those who know, prefer to close a blind eye and pretend it never happened. Everyone wants to believe the wars America was involved in for so many decades were Good wars that had to be fought, that were justified, with soldiers dying for the country, following strong ideals and morals. But what if the wars were actually Bad wars?

It all started with America’s absolute hatred for and struggle against Communism, which was rooted so deep that millions of people all over the world had to die for.

I won’t go into details because the book has too much information to even skim the surface in this review. You have to read it to experience it for yourself. It is the hidden history of the evils even idolized presidents like J.F. Kennedy seemed to have committed in the name of ridding the world of Communism.

Towards the end, the book even reveals how several Eastern-European countries freed themselves from the claws of the Communism with America’s help. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, these were the nearby countries that overcame their plights. Much to my surprise, the author didn’t mention Romania in this chapter, although I don’t believe many of our neighbors rid themselves of their dictators quite the heart-stopping way we did it in the winter of 1989. But I digress.

The author includes hundreds of quotations from other books, journals, and articles, to support all the claims he has made throughout the pages. This is not an unsupported work. It is a well-researched manuscript that was put together using many credible and relevant sources.

Overall, Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991 is a book that makes you think. A lot. It gives you glimpses into a history that many people would rather forget. In the author’s own words:

"For there is something frightfully wrong with a political system that generated years of war, oceans of blood, and millions of dead and wounded around the world” in the name of progressing interventionism and global engineering paradigms.

By the time I finished reading it, I realized I was exhausted. First of all, it was a book quite heavy to digest. It described a part of American history that we haven’t really explored in school. I was now cramming a whole year of high-school history in one week. Second, the pdf document was styled in two columns per page, making it awkward to read on my small-screened iPad. Because the writing was tiny (and at the age of 50, my eyes are not that sharp anymore), I had to enlarge all 250+ pages and read each column separately before flipping to the next page. After finishing it, I clicked over to Amazon to check the layout of the published book. Thankfully, there the pages are formatted properly with one column per page in a regular sized font.

Despite my annoyance with the formatting, I give Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991 4 out of 4 stars. I haven’t found any major grammatical errors while reading. It is a thought-provoking book that made me stop and think. Repeatedly. It made me see the world in a different (much darker) light. I still don’t believe it’s the definitive history of the Cold War, but as they say, there’s no smoke without fire. I recommend this book to history buffs and to those who want to have a peek at an alternative view of the Cold War with all its controversial and gory details.

******
Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991.
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Post by Peter Mutai » 27 Jan 2018, 13:07

I love the review,it makes someone studying history about the world war want to find more about the message being passed from the book.

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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Jan 2018, 14:34

It sounds heavy. It sounds like quite a lot to digest. Still, I wonder if everything I know is a lie. Thanks.
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Post by N_R » 28 Jan 2018, 04:20

Thanks for the review, this sounds like a great book to read. It is horrible to think that the history we thought was true was, in fact, censorship and a lie. Very enlightening.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 28 Jan 2018, 07:39

Wow! I know people would not want to know about the cold war but sometimes it is important. I saw in the newspaper that a American commander visited Vietnam for the first time after the war and he meet a commander in chief of Vietnam who also fought in the war, what touched me the most was what the American commander said and I quote "it is good to see you alive today", I was touched! The review is great it made me remember this so I thought to share it with you all.
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Post by timAbdi » 28 Jan 2018, 17:17

This review is awesome,I am not into history ( i am a scientist) but after reading the review i feel the gist to find the book and have the experience myself,awesome one.

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Post by Maggie G » 28 Jan 2018, 18:26

You have an interesting perspective on this book. I think nonfiction book reviews pose special challenges and this one does a good job of describing the author’s thesis and supporting arguments.

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Post by kislany » 30 Jan 2018, 15:09

Peter Mutai wrote: ↑
27 Jan 2018, 13:07
I love the review,it makes someone studying history about the world war want to find more about the message being passed from the book.
I agree, history buffs will love this book to bits!
kandscreeley wrote: ↑
27 Jan 2018, 14:34
It sounds heavy. It sounds like quite a lot to digest. Still, I wonder if everything I know is a lie. Thanks.
That's the very question I asked myself when I finished reading the book. Just how much of what I know about history is actually true...
N_R wrote: ↑
28 Jan 2018, 04:20
Thanks for the review, this sounds like a great book to read. It is horrible to think that the history we thought was true was, in fact, censorship and a lie. Very enlightening.
Yep, the book was quite enlightening indeed! Thanks for stopping by.
Sahani Nimandra wrote: ↑
28 Jan 2018, 07:39
Wow! I know people would not want to know about the cold war but sometimes it is important. I saw in the newspaper that a American commander visited Vietnam for the first time after the war and he meet a commander in chief of Vietnam who also fought in the war, what touched me the most was what the American commander said and I quote "it is good to see you alive today", I was touched! The review is great it made me remember this so I thought to share it with you all.
Wow, what a touching story! Thanks for sharing!
timAbdi wrote: ↑
28 Jan 2018, 17:17
This review is awesome,I am not into history ( i am a scientist) but after reading the review i feel the gist to find the book and have the experience myself,awesome one.
Thank you for reading the review.
Maggie G wrote: ↑
28 Jan 2018, 18:26
You have an interesting perspective on this book. I think nonfiction book reviews pose special challenges and this one does a good job of describing the author’s thesis and supporting arguments.
Yes, nonfiction books are definitely more challenging than fiction ones, since there is no actual plot or characters to talk about. I am glad that you found the review interesting.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 30 Jan 2018, 18:13

I am sure you were exhausted, what with the heavy topic and the horrible formatting!

People in power can write history the way they want it. (My own country's history books were fiction.)

For me, there are no good wars. Only the arms manufacturers benefit from wars. Those who die lose their lives; those who survive lose their peace.

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Post by BookHausJ » 30 Jan 2018, 20:29

You are correct Miriam! There is no Good war. No one wins in War. Only personal interest wins. And that's the Gun manufacturer. When Jesus Christ show up to his disciples, he said, "Peace Be With You." Happy are those who are Peace Maker. I like the way you review this book. Thank you!

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Post by kislany » 31 Jan 2018, 01:59

Miriam Molina wrote: ↑
30 Jan 2018, 18:13
I am sure you were exhausted, what with the heavy topic and the horrible formatting!

People in power can write history the way they want it. (My own country's history books were fiction.)

For me, there are no good wars. Only the arms manufacturers benefit from wars. Those who die lose their lives; those who survive lose their peace.
BookHausJ wrote: ↑
30 Jan 2018, 20:29
You are correct Miriam! There is no Good war. No one wins in War. Only personal interest wins. And that's the Gun manufacturer. When Jesus Christ show up to his disciples, he said, "Peace Be With You." Happy are those who are Peace Maker. I like the way you review this book. Thank you!
You are both so right. This is, in fact, the second history book I've read where "Good war" was mentioned, and after researching, it appears that this catchphrase was there even from WWI. There are no good wars. They are only there to serve the few percent, not the ones fighting and dying and getting maimed in the process, or going home with a heavy case of PTSD. All wars are evil.

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Post by GathuaM » 31 Jan 2018, 23:25

kislany wrote: ↑
25 Jan 2018, 09:17
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991." by Neal F. Thompson.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Neal F. Thompson, in his nonfiction book Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991, made me realize that everything I know about the Cold War American history might be a lie.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s, at the peak of Romania’s Communist dictatorship era of the Ceausescu regime, so I was aware of the Cold War that had taken place a few decades before my time. USSR was north of us still looming over the horizon. America was the country everyone wanted to escape to, everyone looked up to. It was the world’s superpower, the one shining pillar standing between freedom and our totalitarian regime. Little did I know that behind that angelic facade there were much more sinister forces at work.

The author leads us step by step through the most important events of those times starting with the end of WWII. The Truman era with the Korean War and the Truman Doctrine, followed by America’s sore point, the Vietnam War, and the end of the Cold War initiated by Ronald Reagan are just some highlights from the long and complex book. Neal F. Thompson works hard to expose America’s dirty secrets that people who follow the news through the radio, television, and media might not know about. And those who know, prefer to close a blind eye and pretend it never happened. Everyone wants to believe the wars America was involved in for so many decades were Good wars that had to be fought, that were justified, with soldiers dying for the country, following strong ideals and morals. But what if the wars were actually Bad wars?

It all started with America’s absolute hatred for and struggle against Communism, which was rooted so deep that millions of people all over the world had to die for.

I won’t go into details because the book has too much information to even skim the surface in this review. You have to read it to experience it for yourself. It is the hidden history of the evils even idolized presidents like J.F. Kennedy seemed to have committed in the name of ridding the world of Communism.

Towards the end, the book even reveals how several Eastern-European countries freed themselves from the claws of the Communism with America’s help. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, these were the nearby countries that overcame their plights. Much to my surprise, the author didn’t mention Romania in this chapter, although I don’t believe many of our neighbors rid themselves of their dictators quite the heart-stopping way we did it in the winter of 1989. But I digress.

The author includes hundreds of quotations from other books, journals, and articles, to support all the claims he has made throughout the pages. This is not an unsupported work. It is a well-researched manuscript that was put together using many credible and relevant sources.

Overall, Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991 is a book that makes you think. A lot. It gives you glimpses into a history that many people would rather forget. In the author’s own words:

"For there is something frightfully wrong with a political system that generated years of war, oceans of blood, and millions of dead and wounded around the world” in the name of progressing interventionism and global engineering paradigms.

By the time I finished reading it, I realized I was exhausted. First of all, it was a book quite heavy to digest. It described a part of American history that we haven’t really explored in school. I was now cramming a whole year of high-school history in one week. Second, the pdf document was styled in two columns per page, making it awkward to read on my small-screened iPad. Because the writing was tiny (and at the age of 50, my eyes are not that sharp anymore), I had to enlarge all 250+ pages and read each column separately before flipping to the next page. After finishing it, I clicked over to Amazon to check the layout of the published book. Thankfully, there the pages are formatted properly with one column per page in a regular sized font.

Despite my annoyance with the formatting, I give Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991 4 out of 4 stars. I haven’t found any major grammatical errors while reading. It is a thought-provoking book that made me stop and think. Repeatedly. It made me see the world in a different (much darker) light. I still don’t believe it’s the definitive history of the Cold War, but as they say, there’s no smoke without fire. I recommend this book to history buffs and to those who want to have a peek at an alternative view of the Cold War with all its controversial and gory details.

******
Reckoning: Vietnam and America's Cold War Experience, 1945-1991.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like kislany's review? Post a comment saying so!

Great review. Was attracted to the book by the title. Will surely give it a read. I love history and would like to read the author's viewpoint.

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Post by Spirit Wandering » 02 Feb 2018, 21:03

I remember the death of Ceausescu, as the pictures were quite gruesome. Perhaps the end of his regime isn't well remembered because it was lost in the headlines surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall. The legacy of America's obsession with Communism is returning to us in today's headlines. Despite all the recent news stories about North Korea, I would imagine there are a lot of Americans that don't know the Korean War is technically still in effect-that there has only been an armistice, not a peace treaty, for the last 50+ years. We may have forgotten, but the North Koreans are certainly cognizant of this dynamic. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Paul Agber Terlumun » 07 Feb 2018, 06:22

Wow! Great review, can't wait to read this book to experience some information the media tended to hide.

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Feb 2018, 12:33

Great, thorough review! I can see how you became exhausted reading the book, especially with the way the PDF file was formatted. I can relate because I am currently reading a review book that has an annoying PDF format. It's taking me longer to read due to the format. I am glad you found the book thought-provoking, although it sounds like the story was a dense read. Hope you find a light and breezy book next time to change things up!
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