Catalogue


Marigold : the lost chance for peace in Vietnam /
James G. Hershberg.
imprint
Washington, D.C. : Woodrow Wilson Center Press ; Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2012.
description
xix, 890 p. : ill.
ISBN
0804778841 (hbk), 9780804778848 (hbk)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Washington, D.C. : Woodrow Wilson Center Press ; Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2012.
isbn
0804778841 (hbk)
9780804778848 (hbk)
abstract
"This book explores one of the last great mysteries of the war that Henry Kissinger has retrospectively termed "the defining experience of the second half of the twentieth century" and "the black hole of American historical memory"--the clandestine peace initiative, bearing the U.S. code name "Marigold," that in late 1966 sought to end the fighting, or at least open direct talks, between Washington and Hanoi."--Publisher's description.
catalogue key
8303816
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 867-873) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2011-11-01:
The failure of the secret talks code-named Marigold-which aimed during the second half of 1966 to jump-start serious peace negotiations between the United States and North Vietnam-was one of the great diplomatic collapses, not just of the Vietnam War but also of the entire Cold War era, claims Hershberg (history & international affairs, George Washington Univ.; James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age). This exhaustively researched investigation reveals that Marigold failed largely because the "Rolling Thunder" bombings of North Vietnam that December destroyed American negotiating credibility. Hershberg shows in fascinating detail the tireless efforts of Janusz Lewandowski, a Polish diplomat stationed in South Vietnam, and Giovanni D'Orlandi, Italy's ambassador to Saigon, to arrange the Marigold negotiations. They both gained the respect of American and Vietnamese diplomats but couldn't save the talks, which broke down 17 months before largely fruitless talks between the United States and North Vietnam began in Paris. VERDICT Hershberg has done remarkable work, piecing together the Marigold story from newly available Soviet documents, D'Orlandi's journals, and numerous interviews. He has calmed oceans of detail into a graceful narrative, an important work for Vietnam-era and Cold War historians.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2011-10-10:
Operation Marigold is typically treated as little more than a footnote to the American war in Vietnam, but cold war historian Hershberg, of George Washington University, unalterably changes that view. This book delves into every aspect of Operation Marigold, a failed secret mission led by Polish diplomat Janusz Lewandowski, to set up peace negotiations between the U.S. and North Vietnam in the last weeks of 1966. The conventional wisdom was that the presumptive talks had little chance of success, since both sides believed they could prevail militarily and had no reason to talk, which is what President Johnson claimed to his dying day. Based on his reading of newly released documents and primary sources-including his own interviews with Lewandowski-Hershberg shows that Johnson's decision to resume bombing Hanoi after a five-month pause caused the collapse of the talks before they began. Hershberg also convincingly shows that the Poles (along with Italian diplomats) had authorization from the Vietnamese Communists to approach the Americans to start peace talks-something Johnson and his supporters argued was not the case. This is a well-written, in-depth look at the facts of a controversial and convoluted peace effort that could have significantly altered the course of the Vietnam War. Maps, photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Appeared in Choice on 2012-07-01:
Mixing deep archival research with positions "not recorded but easy to imagine," Hershberg (George Washington Univ.) superbly details a singular event of a highly controversial era--the Vietnam conflict. Blending biographical analysis and convoluted contextual studies, he presents a much-needed, multi-archival approach to two diplomats' efforts to "bring Washington and Hanoi to the table." The subtitle may have easily held a question mark, for the missed chance for peace presumes the two belligerents were ready to accept third-party efforts to end the Vietnam conflict. "[P]reponderant forces on both sides," Hershberg asserts, "still hoped to attain mutually incompatible aims through fighting," thereby bringing into question third-party efforts to broker peace negotiations. Placing the primary onus on the US and without the full benefit of Vietnamese archives, Hershberg concludes that the 1966 Rolling Thunder bombing campaigns amid diplomatic negotiations effected a continuation of a conflict that may have concluded years earlier. Yet even Hershberg concludes that the "evidence remains incomplete," necessitating further research. This nuanced, comprehensive study provides more fodder for the debate on a conflict that never seems to end. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students/faculty. G. Donato Bentley University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An extraordinarily well documented account of battling leaks appears in Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam, a new book by George Washington University history professor James G. Hershberg. Professor Hershberg's exhaustive book . . . dr
"An extraordinarily well documented account of battling leaks appears in Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam, a new book by George Washington University history professor James G. Hershberg. Professor Hershberg's exhaustive book . . . draws on declassified diplomatic cables, foreign archives, countless interviews, and reporters' private notes to recount the breakdown of secret Polish-Italian efforts in 1966code-named 'Marigold'that hoped to coax the United States and North Vietnam into direct peace negotiations."Jack Shafer, Reuters
"A thoughtful and well-reasoned study, Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnamis highly recommended especially for American military history shelves."-- Midwest Book Review
"Hershberg has done remarkable work, piecing together the Marigold story from newly available Soviet documents, D'Orlandi's journals, and numerous interviews. He has calmed oceans of detail into a graceful narrative, an important work for Vietnam-era and Cold War historians." --Karl Helicher, Library Journal
"Hershberg has done remarkable work, piecing together the Marigold story from newly available Soviet documents, D'Orlandi's journals, and numerous interviews. He has calmed oceans of detail into a graceful narrative, an important work for Vietnam-era and Cold War historians."--Karl Helicher, Library Journal
"Hershberg superbly details a singular event of a highly controversial era--the Vietnam conflict . . . Highly recommended."-- Choice
"James G. Hershberg's book is a valuable addition to the discourse that the Vietnam conflict was far more complicated than originally assumed. . . Hershberg traces Marigold from its inception to the end in minute detail, using archival evidence from numerous countries and interviews of key individuals. His research is not only revealing on marigold but sheds further light on the international dimensions of the Vietnam War."Eugenie M. Blang, American Historical Review
"[ Marigold] is, in short, the very best kind of scholarship in international history . . . Historians of the Vietnam War, and the Cold War more broadly, will learn much from this remarkably fresh and revealing historical account."Andrew Preston, International Affairs
"The book will be, I believe, a blockbuster addition to the scholarship of the Vietnam War and, more generally, to Cold War history. Hershberg has produced a remarkably engaging study, a novelesque work of non-fiction that succeeds brilliantly in evoking the feel of 1966 Saigon, Hanoi, Warsaw, Austin, and Washington, It will rank among the finest and most ambitious examples of the 'new Cold War history' and be nothing less than a model for historians and graduate students of how to conduct research in international history and how to weave research drawn from multiple nations into a compelling narrative."--Mark Atwood Lawrence, University of Texas at Austin, author of The Vietnam War: A Concise International History and Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam
"This is a well-written, in-depth look at the facts of a controversial and convoluted peace effort that could have significantly altered the course of the Vietnam War." -- Publisher's Weekly
"This is a superb piece of scholarship, a study that will make a major contribution to our understanding of the Vietnam War in general and the Marigold peace initiative in particular. The research base is simply astounding and what is more, Hershberg shows a marvelous ability to take this mass of material and render it into a gripping and powerful narrative. Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnamis history-writing at its best--evocative, elegant, well-organized, deeply researched, and authoritative."--Fredrik Logevall, Cornell University, author of Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam
"The result of a massive amount of research, this voluminous book delves as deeply as seemingly possible into virtually every aspect of the multinational effort to bring the warring sides together just before the huge American build-up in Vietnam . . . Th
"The result of a massive amount of research, this voluminous book delves as deeply as seemingly possible into virtually every aspect of the multinational effort to bring the warring sides together just before the huge American build-up in Vietnam . . . This massive book is a well-written, in-depth look at the facts surrounding a controversial and convoluted abortive peace effort that, had it taken place, could have significantly altered the course of the Vietnam War."Marc Leepson, The VVA Veteran
"The product of Hershberg's inquiry is Marigold, a staggering exercise in historical scholarship leveraging both established sources and a huge array of newly surfaced documentary materials and research drawn from 15 countries around the world . .
"The product of Hershberg's inquiry is Marigold, a staggering exercise in historical scholarship leveraging both established sources and a huge array of newly surfaced documentary materials and research drawn from 15 countries around the world . . . Hershberg has achieved his presumptive goal of a hidden history that had been the subject of intense speculation over the years but never comprehensively told."--Gordon M. Goldstein, Washington Post
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, October 2011
Library Journal, November 2011
Reference & Research Book News, February 2012
Choice, July 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Marigoldpresents the first rigorously documented, in-depth story of one of the Vietnam War's last great mysteries: the secret Polish-Italian peace initiative, codenamed "Marigold," that sought to end the war, or at least to open direct talks between Washington and Hanoi, in 1966. The initiative failed, the war dragged on for another seven years, and this episode sank into history as an unresolved controversy. Antiwar critics claimed Johnson had bungled (or, worse, deliberately sabotaged) a breakthrough by bombing Hanoi on the eve of a planned historic secret US-North Vietnamese encounter in Warsaw. Conversely, LBJ and top aides angrily insisted there was no "missed opportunity," Poland never had authority to arrange direct talks, and Hanoi was not ready to negotiate. Conventional wisdom echoes the view that Washington and Hanoi were so dug in that no real opportunity existed. This book uses new evidence from long hidden communist sources to show that Warsaw was authorized by Hanoi to open direct contacts and that Hanoi had committed to entering talks with Washington. It reveals LBJ's personal role in bombing Hanoi at a pivotal moment, disregarding the pleas of both the Poles and his own senior advisors. The historical implications of missing this opportunity are immense: Washington did not enter negotiations with Hanoi until more than two years and many thousands of lives later, and then in far less auspicious circumstances.
Bowker Data Service Summary
In 1966 a joint initiative by Poland & Italy sought to establish peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam. The reasons why it failed are discussed by the author in this first scholarly asessment of 'Marigold'.
Main Description
Marigoldpresents the first rigorously documented, in-depth account of one of the Vietnam War's last great mysteries: the secret Polish-Italian peace initiative, codenamed "Marigold," that sought to end the war, or at least to open direct talks between Washington and Hanoi, in 1966. The initiative failed, the war dragged on for another seven years, and this episode sank into history as an unresolved controversy. Antiwar critics claimed Johnson had bungled (or, worse, deliberately sabotaged) a breakthrough by bombing Hanoi on the eve of a planned historic secret US-North Vietnamese encounter in Warsaw. Conversely, LBJ and top aides angrily insisted there was no "missed opportunity," Poland never had authority to arrange direct talks, and Hanoi was not ready to negotiate. Conventional wisdom echoes the view that Washington and Hanoi were so dug in that no real opportunity existed. This book uses new evidence from long hidden communist sources to show that Warsaw was authorized by Hanoi to open direct contacts and that Hanoi had committed to entering talks with Washington. It reveals LBJ's personal role in bombing Hanoi at a pivotal moment, disregarding the pleas of both the Poles and his own senior advisors. The historical implications of missing this opportunity are immense: Washington did not enter negotiations with Hanoi more than two years later, and then in far less auspicious circumstances.
Library of Congress Summary
"This book explores one of the last great mysteries of the war that Henry Kissinger has retrospectively termed "the defining experience of the second half of the twentieth century" and "the black hole of American historical memory"--the clandestine peace initiative, bearing the U.S. code name "Marigold," that in late 1966 sought to end the fighting, or at least open direct talks, between Washington and Hanoi."--Publisher's description.
Main Description
Marigold presents the first rigorously documented, in-depth story of one of the Vietnam War's last great mysteries: the secret Polish-Italian peace initiative, codenamed "Marigold," that sought to end the war, or at least to open direct talks between Washington and Hanoi, in 1966. The initiative failed, the war dragged on for another seven years, and this episode sank into history as an unresolved controversy. Antiwar critics claimed Johnson had bungled (or, worse, deliberately sabotaged) a breakthrough by bombing Hanoi on the eve of a planned historic secret US-North Vietnamese encounter in Warsaw. Conversely, LBJ and top aides angrily insisted there was no "missed opportunity," Poland never had authority to arrange direct talks, and Hanoi was not ready to negotiate. Conventional wisdom echoes the view that Washington and Hanoi were so dug in that no real opportunity existed. This book uses new evidence from long hidden communist sources to show that Warsaw was authorized by Hanoi to open direct contacts and that Hanoi had committed to entering talks with Washington. It reveals LBJ's personal role in bombing Hanoi at a pivotal moment, disregarding the pleas of both the Poles and his own senior advisors. The historical implications of missing this opportunity are immense: Washington did not enter negotiations with Hanoi until more than two years and many thousands of lives later, and then in far less auspicious circumstances.
Main Description
Marigoldpresents the first rigorously documented, in-depth account of the Vietnam War's last great mystery: the secret Polish-Italian peace initiative, codenamed "Marigold," that sought to end the war, or at least to open direct talks between Washington and Hanoi, in 1966. The initiative failed, the war dragged on for another seven years, and this episode sank into history as an unresolved controversy. Antiwar critics claimed Johnson had bungled (or, worse, deliberately sabotaged) a breakthrough by bombing Hanoi on the eve of a planned historic secret US-North Vietnamese encounter in Warsaw. Conversely, LBJ and top aides angrily insisted there was no "missed opportunity," Poland never had authority to arrange direct talks, and Hanoi was not ready to negotiate. Conventional wisdom echoes the view that Washington and Hanoi were so dug in that no real opportunity existed. This book uses new evidence from long hidden communist sources to show that Warsaw was authorized by Hanoi to open direct contacts and that Hanoi had committed to entering talks with Washington. It reveals LBJ's personal role in bombing Hanoi at a pivotal moment, disregarding the pleas of both the Poles and his own senior advisors. The historical implications of missing this opportunity are immense: Washington did not enter direct talks with Hanoi until three years later, and then in far less auspicious circumstances.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem