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“In his comprehensive examination of Walt Rostow’s role in Vietnam decision making, David Milne adds a valuable and nuanced perspective on the questions of how and why Vietnam became an American war and what went wrong there. America’s Rasputin is a well researched and critical yet sensitive treatment of an exceptional man who wielded significant influence in the Lyndon Johnson Administration during a critical phase of the Vietnam War.” —H.R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam
“David Milne has given us an absorbing history of the rise to power of Walt Rostow and his disastrous impact on US foreign policy. The first civilian to advise Kennedy to deploy combat troops to South Vietnam and the first to urge bombing the North, Rostow was a true ideologue who believed an American version of democracy could be exported to other countries—if necessary by force. An American Rasputin—as Averrell Harriman described him—who refused to admit the limits of American power, Rostow helped bring about the worst military defeat in American history. The parallels with the present time—when America faces an even worse disaster in Iraq—are clear. A book that vividly illuminates the dangers of ideology in foreign policy, America’s Rasputin could not be more timely.” —John Gray, author of Black Mass