In Good Faith: A History of the Vietnam War Volume 1: The Road to War, 1945–65

IN GOOD FAITH                                      SERGIO MILLER

In Good Faith is the first of a two-volume, accessible narrative history of America's involvement in Indochina, from the end of World War II to the Fall of Saigon in 1975. The books chart the course of America's engagement with the region, from its initially hesitant support for French Indochina through the advisory missions following the 1954 Geneva Accords, then on to the covert war promoted in the Kennedy years, the escalation to total war in the Johnson era, and finally to the liquidation of the American war under Nixon.

Drawing on the latest research, unavailable to the authors of the classic Vietnam histories, these two volumes tell the whole story for the first time, including the truth behind the events of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which opened the door to Washington's entry into the war, and which can now be told in full thanks to recently declassified National Security Agency top secret material. Examining in depth both the events and the key figures of the conflict, this is a definitive new history of American engagement in Vietnam.

In Good Faith tells the story from the Japanese surrender in 1945 through America's involvement in the French Indochina War and the initial advisory missions that followed. It describes how these missions gradually grew in both scope and scale, and how America became ever more committed to the region, especially following the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 which led to the first bombing missions over North Vietnam. It finishes at the climax of one of those operations, Rolling Thunder, and just prior to the first commitment of US ground forces to the war in Vietnam in the spring of 1965.


This book opens with the surrender of Japan in 1945 and how Asia was but forgotten when the leaders had gotten together for their talks at Yalta and how even Truman and others were focused on Europe and helping Japan. No one was really looking at any of the Asian countries and because of that communist regimes were able to move in and start taking over.
In Vietnam, it got to the point where the people were put down by the French who were in the country already priory to WWII. They wanted to stay in Vietnam after the war but would need assistance eventually in weapons to hold on. The author talks about how our country went from being in the war to wanting to deescalate, close factories, release men from service and really go back to the way it was after world war one, where we thought nothing would happen. Instead during this time of doing nothing, Asia was going away and America did not care, they would not care from 1946 to 1955. Then America had a wake-up call in 65 when more American soldiers would die.
The author takes you through what was happening in Vietnam during the late ’40s and then the 50’s. all the while we had men in congress doing which hunt on Americans over their so-called communists’ activities. All the while not paying any attention to the World. They would let Korea get out of hand. Then when Eisenhower was in office, he tried to help Vietnam only to be shut down. He did send advisors and weapons. In the late 50’s we were already running operations into areas of Vietnam, Laos and some men wanted to go into Cambodia. Had already lost American servicemen before Kennedy was elected. He then had to deal with Vietnam and then eventually the Cuban missile crisis especially after the Bay of Pigs. Goes into the assignation of a leader for he wanted someone else in charge. Yes, boys and girls, we did do these sorts of things back then. The problem was the President was assonated so Johnson was in charge.
In 1963 in a battle on Jan 2 we lost 15 helicopters, we could only have three advisors and one of the biggest problems was communication. The ones we were helping did not or did not want to listen. That was a bad day. It was also a battle where the enemy shot down most of the helicopters with the ground to air rockets which would happen much more in the war that would follow. I had heard of this battle decades ago, were the men there said if they had more Americans, they believed they could have defeated the enemy and changed course, only not to happen because Washington had them with only so many. The C.I.A also were running missions into the country. By 64 277service men were killed. In 65 the first female C.I.An officer is killed. One night an airbase was overrun with over 70 American servicemen wounded another 4 killed. Next night B-52’s would drop thousands of bombs.
65 you have the bombing of the embassy in Saigon where the next day another bombing run was made called rolling thunder. My Uncle attached to the Marines was top NCO at the embassy from 65 – 66 he would go to Vietnam later in 69 in time for Tet. Anyway, as the author is taking you through all of this you are also getting what is happening at home. Civil rights workers are missing, then you have the incident at the gulf of Token. You also get a look at Lt. Alverez how would be first to be shot down and stay a prisoner for eight years.
You end in 65 right at the incident. For me, this was a very good book. Yes, people, we were bombing and running missions into different parts of the country long before Nixon. That is what always got to me. As a kid sitting around listening to the military men that came to our house, I thought all of those men were just telling stories. They were telling the truth about their stories. Having an Uncle fighting in Vietnam, a cousin who was a gunship helicopter pilot and each did two tours.
This is a very good book and though I probably di a much longer review than I should have this book is filled with information and is worth the read. I know some people may think it a dry read but for me, it was very good and informative. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at

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