The Vietnam War, 1945–1975

A Historiography

Authored by: George C. Herring

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415888479
eBook ISBN: 9781135070991
Adobe ISBN: 9781135071028

10.4324/9781135070991.ch26

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Abstract

The writing of the history of American wars has followed a recurrent pattern: a first stage in which official history written during or soon after the event is challenged by revisionist accounts, often partisan in motivation and hypercritical in tone; a second stage of scholarly responses, sometimes incorporating revisionist arguments; followed by a more scholarly form of revisionism, what might be called post-revisionism. Ultimately, after the passions of war have subsided, there may be a third stage of synthesis in which issues lose their immediacy and scholars begin to agree on many major questions. 1

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