THE ROAD NOT TAKEN:
EDWARD LANSDALE AND THE AMERICAN TRAGEDY IN VIETNAM
2019 FINALIST FOR PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY &
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War.
In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908– 1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a “hearts and mind” diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America’s giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people. Through dozens of interviews and access to neverbefore-seen documents—including long-hidden love letters—Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish “T. E. Lawrence of Asia” from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975. Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called “ugly American,” this “engrossing biography” (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.
AN EPIC HISTORY OF GUERILLA WARFARE FROM ANCIENT TIMES TO THE PRESENT
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.”—John Nagl, Wall Street Journal
Invisible Armies presents an entirely original narrative of warfare, which demonstrates that, far from the exception, loosely organized partisan or guerrilla warfare has been the dominant form of military conflict throughout history. New York Times best-selling author and military historian Max Boot traces guerrilla warfare and terrorism from antiquity to the present, narrating nearly thirty centuries of unconventional military conflicts. Filled with dramatic analysis of strategy and tactics, as well as many memorable characters—from Italian nationalist Guiseppe Garibaldi to the “Quiet American,” Edward Lansdale—Invisible Armies is “as readable as a novel” (Michael Korda, Daily Beast) and “a timely reminder to politicians and generals of the hard-earned lessons of history” (Economist).
THE SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE:
SMALL WARS AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN POWER
"Anyone who wants to understand why America has permanently entered a new era in international relations must read [this book].... Vividly written and thoroughly researched."
—Los Angeles Times
America's "small wars," "imperial war," or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts," have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power. Beginning with Jefferson's expedition against the Barbary pirates, Max Boot tells the exciting stories of our sometimes minor but often bloody landings in Samoa, the Philippines, China, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere. Along the way he sketches colorful portraits of little-known military heroes such as Stephen Decatur, "Fighting Fred" Funston, and Smedly Butler.
This revised and updated edition of Boot's compellingly readable history of the forgotten wars that helped promote America's rise in the last two centuries includes a wealth of new material, including a chapter on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a new afterword on the lessons of the post-9/11 world.
WAR MADE NEW:
WEAPONS, WARRIORS, AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD
A monumental, groundbreaking work, that shows how technological and strategic revolutions have transformed the battlefield.
Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four revolutions in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes have remade the field of battle and shaped the rise and fall of empires.
War Made New begins with the Gunpowder Revolution and explains warfare's evolution from ritualistic, drawn-out engagements to much deadlier events, precipitating the rise of the modern nation-state. Boot next explores the triumph of steel and steam during the Industrial Revolution, showing how it powered the spread of European colonial empires. Moving into the twentieth century and the Second Industrial Revolution, Boot examines three critical clashes of World War II to illustrate how new technology such as the tank, radio, and airplane ushered in terrifying new forms of warfare and the rise of centralized, and even totalitarian, world powers. Finally, Boot focuses on the Gulf War, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the Iraq War, arguing that even as cutting-edge technologies have made America the greatest military power in world history, advanced communications systems have allowed decentralized, irregular, forces to become an increasingly significant threat.