"A substantial contribution to our understanding of this tragic period."
"A definite contribution to the field and an enlightening piece of research in understanding the American presidency, specifically that of John F. Kennedy . . . Winters's detailed analysis of the Year of the Hare provides both the scholar and general reader interested in the topic an intricate examination and understanding of this important point in the Vietnam War. He provides a clear chronology to follow and shows great insight through careful research and analysis of the topic. This is a definite must-read book for those interested in the Vietnam War."
Why did Kennedy and his colleagues choose this perilous course in the midst of an uncertain civil war? To answer this question, The Year of the Hare takes us inside the Kennedy administration, where the State Department largely supported the coup while the Pentagon and the CIA consistently resisted it. Francis X. Winters’s research is based on in-depth interviews with high-ranking members of the Kennedy administration, including Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy, and George Ball, along with the newly issued multivolume compilation Foreign Relations and the United States, 1961-1964, Vietnam and the recently opened General Records of the U.S. State Department for 1963.
The reasons for American support of the coup in Vietnam, Winters asserts, lie both in the ethos of the era, with its dynamic confidence in the superiority of American ideals, and in Kennedy’s political aspirations. The Year of the Hare explores the synergy between the idealism and personal ambition that were at the root of the war that haunts us still.
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