Any scholar interested in the Vietnam War, the presidency of John F. Kennedy, and U.S.-French relations would be well advised to delve into JFK and de Gaulle: How America and France Failed in Vietnam, 1961–1963. It is no easy feat to find new and interesting angles of research for a subject as well excavated as that of Vietnam, but Sean McLaughlin has managed to do so with aplomb.

The literature on the conflict in Indochina is particularly expansive, bolstered in recent decades by works that have sought to decenter the Cold War and highlight the role of other actors besides the superpowers. There is no shortage, either, of books touching on French President Charles de Gaulle's complicated relations with the Anglo-Saxon powers. Nonetheless, as McLaughlin suggests, there is still a gap when it comes to reevaluating “France's role in American Vietnam policy during the Kennedy years” (p. 6).


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