Vietnam: A War Lost and Won by Nigel Cawthorne

Vietnam A War Lost and Won

The Vietnam War

Vietnam was the first war America lost on the ground. In this illustrated account, historian Nigel Cawthorne traces the conflict from its inception to its traumatic end. He looks at the political events that led to the war and examines its impact upon both the Americans and the Vietnamese, whose battle for the independence of their country was to leave lingering scars upon the American psyche. Vietnam: A War Lost and Won is an even-handed assessment of a conflict whose wounds would take a generation to heal.

My Two Cents Worth

When I started reading this book, the more I read, the more I feel that America should never intervene in any other country’s affair. Only intervene when another country asked for help. Extend help when asked for. This Vietnam War is not helping anyone, it just brought heartache to numerous families.

I am not taught to analyze on a war, I was taught to memorize dates, names and the many agreements made between different parties. Sad case, I do not know how to express myself regarding this.

Our History Lesson

We are Malaysians therefore our History lesson is taught in the national language, Bahasa Malaysia. Nothing wrong with that at all but I really wish we have studied more except a few sentences regarding Ho Chi Minh in form 5 Sejarah lesson.

We should have studied more world history, but we were studying about khalifah. Are those in Arab studying about the four khalifahs, too? Or those in Arab countries are studying world history? There are many wars and conflicts that involved many other countries, but Malaysian students only studied a very little bit about World War Two. The focus was more on how Malaya got its independence, how Tunku Abdul Rahman stirred the nation to be united. I hope his efforts were not wasted after all these years.

Our students have no interest in studying Sejarah. We only memorize lengthy names and the reason for certain agreements being drawn out. 

If we are to put in the current politics into the textbook, the brain will not be big enough to contain. Anyway, history should be about the past. There are so much to study about world history, why are we limiting students by only studying the local history? Local history should be taught in primary school, when in secondary school, teenagers can think better, and should be given the chance to scrutinize the happenings of the past in different parts of the world.

Do not compare with China that Chinese students studied domestic wars in their homeland. They have so many internal conflicts but I am sure they taught about the Opium War, the Nanking Massacre and lots more.

What are your feelings
Updated on December 5, 2021

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