Cover: Powerful and Brutal Weapons: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Easter Offensive, from Harvard University PressCover: Powerful and Brutal Weapons in HARDCOVER

Powerful and Brutal Weapons

Nixon, Kissinger, and the Easter Offensive

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674024915

Publication Date: 03/30/2007

Short

416 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

10 halftones, 7 maps

World

As America confronts an unpredictable war in Iraq, Stephen Randolph returns to an earlier conflict that severely tested our civilian and military leaders. In 1972, America sought to withdraw from Vietnam with its credibility intact. As diplomatic negotiations were pursued in Paris, President Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger hoped that gains on the battlefield would strengthen their position at the negotiating table—working against the relentless deadline of a presidential election year.

In retaliation for a major North Vietnamese offensive breaking over the Easter holidays, the President launched the all-out air campaign known as Linebacker—overriding his Secretary of Defense and clashing with the theater commander in whom he had lost all confidence. He intended to destroy the enemy with the full force of America’s “powerful and brutal weapons” and thus shape the endgame of the war. Randolph’s narrative, based not only on the Nixon White House tapes and newly declassified materials from the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and the White House but also on never before used North Vietnamese sources, re-creates how North Vietnam planned and fought this battle from Hanoi and how the U.S. planned and fought it from Washington.

Randolph’s intimate chronicle of Nixon’s performance as Commander-in-Chief gains us unprecedented access to how strategic assessments were made, transmitted through the field of command, and played out in combat and at the negotiating table. It is a compelling story about America’s military decision-making in conflicts with nontraditional belligerents that speaks provocatively to our own time.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2008 Best Air Power History Book Award, Air Force Historical Foundation
The World of Plymouth Plantation, by Carla Gardina Pestana, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan, Jr., from Harvard University Press

Remembering Hiroshima

On this day 75 years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. James L. Nolan Jr.’s grandfather was a doctor who participated in the Manhattan Project, and he writes about him in Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, an unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the project. Below, please find the introduction to Nolan’s book. On the morning of June 17, 1945, Captain James F. Nolan, MD, boarded a plane